On On ([o^]n), prep. [OE. on, an, o, a, AS. on, an; akin to D. aan, OS. & G. an, OHG. ana, Icel. [=a], Sw. [*a], Goth. ana, Russ. na, L. an-, in anhelare to pant, Gr. 'ana`, Zend ana. [root]195. Cf. {A-}, 1, {Ana-}, {Anon}.] The general signification of on is situation, motion, or condition with respect to contact or support beneath; as: [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

I stood on the bridge at midnight. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken. --Matt. xxi. 44. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster +PJC]

7. At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain from labor. See {At} (synonym). [1913 Webster]

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. Hence, in consequence of, or following; as, on the ratification of the treaty, the armies were disbanded; start on the count of three. [1913 Webster +PJC]

9. Toward; for; -- indicating the object of some passion; as, have pity or compassion on him. [1913 Webster]

10. At the peril of, or for the safety of. ``Hence, on thy life.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

His blood be on us and on our children. --Matt. xxvii. 25. [1913 Webster]

13. In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect punctuality; a satire on society. [1913 Webster]

14. Of. [Obs.] ``Be not jealous on me.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Or have we eaten on the insane root That takes the reason prisoner? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: Instances of this usage are common in our older writers, and are sometimes now heard in illiterate speech. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster +PJC]

16. In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is on a newspaper; on a committee. [1913 Webster]

Note: On and upon are in general interchangeable. In some applications upon is more euphonious, and is therefore to be preferred; but in most cases on is preferable. [1913 Webster]

17. In reference to; about; concerning; as, to think on it; to meditate on it. [PJC]

{On a bowline}. (Naut.) Same as {Closehauled}.

{On a wind}, or {On the wind} (Naut.), sailing closehauled.

{On a sudden}. See under {Sudden}.

{On board}, {On draught}, {On fire}, etc. See under {Board}, {Draught}, {Fire}, etc.

{On it}, {On't}, of it. [Obs. or Colloq.] --Shak.

{On shore}, on land; to the shore.

{On the road}, {On the way}, {On the wing}, 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. [1913 Webster]

They have added the -en plural form on to an elder plural. --Earle. [1913 Webster]

We see the strength of the new movement in the new class of ecclesiastics whom it forced on to the stage. --J. R. Green. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • On — On, adv. [See {On}, prep.] 1. Forward, in progression; onward; usually with a verb of motion; as, move on; go on; the beat goes on. Time glides on. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • On — On, on, or ON may refer to: On (Japanese prosody), the counting of sound units in Japanese poetry Ön, a 1966 Swedish film On (novel), by Adam Roberts Air Nauru IATA airline designator ON Heliopolis (ancient), an ancient city in Egypt, from a… …   Wikipedia

  • on — I. preposition Etymology: Middle English an, on, preposition & adverb, from Old English; akin to Old High German ana on, Greek ana up, on Date: before 12th century 1. a. used as a function word to indicate position in contact with and supported… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ON — Pronom personnel indéfini, et des deux genres, qui indique d une manière générale une ou plusieurs personnes, et qui ne se joint jamais qu avec la troisième personne du verbe au singulier. On dit, on raconte que... On fait la guerre. Que fait on… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • ON — Pronom masculin indéfini qui indique d’une manière générale une ou plusieurs personnes et qui est toujours sujet d’un verbe. On dit, on raconte que... On fait la guerre. Que fait on ici? Aussi dit on que... Prendra t on cette place? Ce qu’on aime …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • ÆON — Infobox Company name = ÆON Co., Ltd. type = Public KK (tyo|8267) foundation = 1758 (as Shinoharaya) location = flagicon|Japan Tokyo, Japan key people = Motoya Okada, President industry = Retail services = Shopping malls, Hypermarkets,… …   Wikipedia

  • on — Rub Rub, v. i. 1. To move along the surface of a body with pressure; to grate; as, a wheel rubs against the gatepost. [1913 Webster] 2. To fret; to chafe; as, to rub upon a sore. [1913 Webster] 3. To move or pass with difficulty; as, to rub… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -on — I. noun suffix Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, alteration of one chemical compound not a ketone or other oxo compound < parathion > II. noun suffix Etymology: from on (in ion) 1. subatomic particle < nucleon > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ON — or Ont abbreviation Ontario …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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