on·​to | \ ˈȯn-(ˌ)tü How to pronounce onto (audio) , ˈän- \

Definition of onto

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to a position on We climbed onto the roof. Turn left onto Fifth Avenue.
2 : in or into a state of awareness about put me onto your methods was onto something that should have been pursued further— Bosley Crowther
3 used as a function word to indicate a set each element of which is the image of at least one element of another set a function mapping the set S onto the set T



Definition of onto (Entry 2 of 2)

: mapping elements in such a way that every element in one set is the image of at least one element in another set a function that is one-to-one and onto

Examples of onto in a Sentence

Preposition We climbed onto the building's roof. The book fell onto the floor. The water spilled onto the floor. The cowboy leaped onto his horse. Transfer the data onto a disk. Turn left onto Third Street at the traffic light.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Earlier this week, all of Nearman’s Republican colleagues in the House signed onto a letter urging him to resign. oregonlive, 10 June 2021 Italy’s technocratic prime minister Mario Draghi has quietly stalled his country’s involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which his populist predecessors signed onto in 2019. Washington Post, 7 June 2021 Two years ago, five Republican lawmakers signed onto a bill that would require congressional and legislative districts to be drawn by an independent panel. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 June 2021 In a related development, an interfaith movement plans to present signatures Wednesday to the staff of Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a step in an attempt to get two initiative petitions onto the ballot. Andrew Selsky, ajc, 2 June 2021 Biden is meeting privately with remaining survivors of the 1921 massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, who all signed onto a lawsuit last year seeking reparations from the city of Tulsa for the massacre. Jack Brewster, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Jensen’s recall proponents have until Sept. 10 to turn in a minimum of 4,484 signatures to get the issue onto a ballot, said City Clerk Zeb Navarro. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 Kyle Chandler has also signed onto the series in an unconfirmed role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 27 May 2021 Organizations like Accion, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Pro Mujer, the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the World Economic Forum have also signed onto the initiative. Arlette Saenz, CNN, 27 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onto.' 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 onto


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1942, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for onto

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Onto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onto. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for onto

English Language Learners Definition of onto

: to a position that is on (something, such as a surface, area, or object)
: in a direction that allows you to get to or see (something)
used to say that someone knows about what someone is doing or has done
on·​to | \ ˈȯn-(ˌ)tü How to pronounce onto (audio) , ˈän- \

Kids Definition of onto

: to a position on or against I leaped onto the horse.

More from Merriam-Webster on onto

Nglish: Translation of onto for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of onto for Arabic Speakers


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