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on·​to ˈȯn-(ˌ)tü How to pronounce onto (audio)
: to a position on
We climbed onto the roof.
Turn left onto Fifth Avenue.
: in or into a state of awareness about
put me onto your methods
was onto something that should have been pursued furtherBosley Crowther
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


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: 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Plenty of brands are now slashing prices and ditching shipping charges in the hopes of making it onto your table this season. Shanna Shipin, Glamour, 27 Nov. 2023 The force of the crash pushed the vehicle onto its side, Pascua said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2023 Last week, shortly before the crucial Black Friday shopping day, the mall’s management scrambled to fix sewer backups that were causing raw sewage to seep onto the sidewalk near the main entrance. Kate King, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2023 Cozy Earth Bamboo Jogger Pant, $116 (Save 30%) Cozy Earth items, like these Bamboo Jogger Pants, are constantly making it onto Oprah’s Favorite Things List. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 25 Nov. 2023 Sprinkle enough flour over your counter to give it a light coating, then turn the dough out onto it, lightly dusting the top of the dough with more flour. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 24 Nov. 2023 Perhaps the most dramatic design element of the house is the glass walls that allow each room on the first level to look directly out onto the beach. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 24 Nov. 2023 Speaking of that, a lot of fans are hoping Ace and Peter make it onto that stage for the last show. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 The anything-but-marvelous performance of The Marvels is a moment of reckoning for Marvel Studios, the production house that has been the superhero of the box office for much of the past 15 years since Iron Man burst onto the scene in 2008. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'onto.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of onto was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near onto

Cite this Entry

“Onto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onto. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to a position on or against
leaped onto the horse
climbed onto the roof
: in a state of knowing about or becoming aware of
I'm onto their little game

More from Merriam-Webster on onto

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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