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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

Example Sentences

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
Then his bus turned right, onto an access road into Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport. Trish Wilson, Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2023 Even more, supporters said that allowing utilities to use this mechanism can save consumers money because utilities won’t have to borrow money and pass all that interest onto ratepayers. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Feb. 2023 Martin then left the parking lot and drove onto the 5 freeway heading southbound. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2023 Tacking onto this, Stapf says that a machine that heats up quickly is important. Rebecca Norris, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2023 Each panel slides onto your existing curtain rod via rod pockets and comes with two Velcro tiebacks to pull the panels back during the day. Maria Conti, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Feb. 2023 In the ad, Coolidge squirts some of the primer into her hand and smooths it onto her face. Maddie Browning, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Feb. 2023 With an influx of gigayachts now coming onto the market, and American owners looking to build increasingly larger yachts, interest in refitting yachts like Golden Odyssey and Sarafsa is gaining real traction, says Nelson. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 10 Feb. 2023 With the shelving done, move onto the main event—the fridge itself. Alma Avalle, Bon Appétit, 10 Feb. 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 30 Mar. 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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  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
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