Definition of On

Pronunciation: ǒn
prep.1.The general signification of on is situation, motion, or condition with respect to contact or support beneath
1.At, or in contact with, the surface or upper part of a thing, and supported by it; placed or lying in contact with the surface; as, the book lies on the table, which stands on the floor of a house on an island.
I stood on the bridge at midnight.
- Longfellow.
2.To or against the surface of; - used to indicate the motion of a thing as coming or falling to the surface of another; as, rain falls on the earth.
Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken.
- Matt. xxi. 44.
3.Denoting performance or action by contact with the surface, upper part, or outside of anything; hence, by means of; with; as, to play on a violin or piano. Hence, figuratively, to work on one's feelings; to make an impression on the mind.
4.At or near; adjacent to; - indicating situation, place, or position; as, on the one hand, on the other hand; the fleet is on the American coast.
5.In addition to; besides; - indicating multiplication or succession in a series; as, heaps on heaps; mischief on mischief; loss on loss; thought on thought.
6.Indicating dependence or reliance; with confidence in; as, to depend on a person for assistance; to rely on; hence, indicating the ground or support of anything; as, he will promise on certain conditions; to bet on a horse; based on certain assumptions.
7.At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain from labor. See At (synonym).
8.At the time of; - often conveying some notion of cause or motive; as, on public occasions, the officers appear in full dress or uniform; the shop is closed on Sundays.
9.Toward; for; - indicating the object of some passion; as, have pity or compassion on him.
10.At the peril of, or for the safety of.
11.By virtue of; with the pledge of; - denoting a pledge or engagement, and put before the thing pledged; as, he affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honor.
12.To the account of; - denoting imprecation or invocation, or coming to, falling, or resting upon; as, on us be all the blame; a curse on him.
His blood be on us and on our children.
- Matt. xxvii. 25.
13.In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect punctuality; a satire on society.
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?
- Shak.
15.Occupied with; in the performance of; as, only three officers are on duty; on a journey; on the job; on an assignment; on a case; on the alert.
16.In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is on a newspaper; on a committee.
17.In reference to; about; concerning; as, to think on it; to meditate on it.
On a bowline
(Naut.) Same as Closehauled.
On a wind
(Naut.) sailing closehauled.
On a sudden
See under Sudden.
On board
See under Board, Draught, Fire, etc.
On it
of it.
On shore
on land; to the shore.
- Shak.
On the road
etc. See under Road, Way, etc.
On to
upon; on; to; - sometimes written as one word, onto, and usually called a colloquialism; but it may be regarded in analogy with into.
They have added the -en plural form on to an elder plural.
- Earle.
We see the strength of the new movement in the new class of ecclesiastics whom it forced on to the stage.
- J. R. Green.
adv.1.Forward, in progression; onward; - usually with a verb of motion; as, move on; go on; the beat goes on.
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
- Shak.
2.Forward, in succession; as, from father to son, from the son to the grandson, and so on.
3.In continuance; without interruption or ceasing; as, sleep on, take your ease; say on; sing on.
4.Adhering; not off; as in the phrase, "He is neither on nor off," that is, he is not steady, he is irresolute.
5.Attached to the body, as clothing or ornament, or for use.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate.
- Is. lix. 17.
6.In progress; proceeding; ongoing; as, a game is on.
On and on
continuously; for a long time together.
- Longfellow.

Related Words

about, above, accidental, accompanying, across, ado, afloat, afoot, after which, against, ahead, along, among, anent, apropos of, as for, as regards, as respects, as to, astraddle, astride, at, atop, by, by dint of, by means of, by use of, by virtue of, by way of, circumstantial, concerning, current, doing, en route to, eventuating, for, forth, forward, forwards, from, going on, happening, headed for, hereby, hereinafter, herewith, horseback, in, in connection with, in contact with, in hand, in passage to, in point of, in re, in reference to, in regard to, in relation to, in relation with, in respect to, in the wind, in transit to, in virtue of, incidental, near, next to, occasional, occurring, of, on foot, on horseback, on route to, on top of, ongoing, onward, onwards, opposite, over, over against, passing, per, pertaining to, pertinent to, prevailing, prevalent, re, referring to, regarding, relating to, relative to, respecting, resultant, speaking of, straddle, straddle-legged, straddleback, taking place, thanks to, thereby, therewith, through, to, touching, toward, towards, under way, up, up against, upon, upon which, versus, vis-a-vis, whereat, whereby, wherefore, whereon, whereto, whereunto, whereupon, wherewith, wherewithal, with, with regard to, with respect to


On a bowline
On a par
On a sudden
On a suddenty
On a wind
On account of
On an average
On an even keel
On and on
On behalf of
On board
on commission
On condition
On demand
On dit
On draught
On duty
On earth
on edge
On end
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