on·​line | \ ˈȯn-ˈlīn , ˈän-ˈlīn \

Definition of online

: connected to, served by, or available through a system and especially a computer or telecommunications system (such as the Internet) an online database also : done while connected to such a system online shopping online games online searching

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Other Words from online

online adverb

Examples of online in a Sentence

The city libraries are all online. He likes to engage in online chats.

Recent Examples on the Web

From there, you’ll be asked to use a glucose monitor to check your blood sugar levels at home several times a day and to keep a log, either online or on your phone, to help your doctor track everything, ACOG says. Korin Miller, SELF, "What You Need to Know About Glucose Testing During Pregnancy," 4 Feb. 2019 Amelia works at the online and phone-in help desks at the Swedish bank SEB. Richard Baldwin, WSJ, "White-Collar Robots Are Coming for Jobs," 31 Jan. 2019 The new burst, FRB 180814.J0422+73, was discovered in the summer of 2018, before CHIME was fully online. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Repeating Radio Signals Are a Deep Space Mystery and Astronomers Just Found a Second One," 9 Jan. 2019 Most online and brick & mortar retailers pull out all the stops for Black Friday. Jolie Peters, House Beautiful, "Here's Everything You Can Expect From Amazon's 2018 Black Friday Deals," 4 Oct. 2018 While its exact origins are unclear, the little essay has circulated online forums for years, and before popping up in that viral Facebook post. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Tell Your Kids About Santa Without Breaking Their Hearts," 15 Oct. 2018 Brands That Retain Value AptDeco, which launched in 2013, is an online platform that allows you to buy and sell used furniture with a major benefit. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "An Expert's Top Advice for Selling Furniture Online," 13 Sep. 2018 Like Walmart, Target has shifted its focus toward growing online, offering more options to receive web orders at home or pick up those orders in stores. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Strong Economy Can’t Save Macy’s From Retail Shifts," 10 Jan. 2019 Just pick up a new book, register for a free online class, or listen to a podcast. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'online.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of online

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near online



on limits




on loan

Statistics for online

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for online

The first known use of online was in 1950

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More Definitions for online



English Language Learners Definition of online

: connected to a computer, a computer network, or the Internet
: done over the Internet
on·​line | \ ˈȯn-ˌlīn , ˈän-\

Kids Definition of online

: connected to, directly controlled by, or available through a computer system an online database working online

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More from Merriam-Webster on online

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with online

Spanish Central: Translation of online

Nglish: Translation of online for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of online for Arabic Speakers

Comments on online

What made you want to look up online? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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