Definition of on
What does the word on mean?
part of speech: preposition
(So as to be) supported by or attached to or covering or enclosing (sat on the table; floats on the water; is on the horns of a dilemma; lives on the continent, on annuity; have you a match on you?, about your person; is, gets, falls, on his LEGS, knees, &c.; travels on foot, wheels, the wing, the wings of the wind; tread on air, one\'s foes; dropped it, threw him, on the floor; had, put, a ring, gloves, on his finger, hands; put a notice on the board; hangs on the wall; walks on the ceiling; has a blister on the sole of his foot; a scholar on the foundation; a colonel on half-pay; went on board; is on the jury, committee, general staff; a writer on the press; dog is on the chain; on the BENCH, BOARDS, CARDS, FENCE, MARKET, NAIL, PARISH, RACK, SHELF, SPOT, STREETS, STUMP, TURF, WAY; on CHANGE, HAND, one\'s HANDS, one\'s own HOOK, one\'s KNEES, TENTERHOOKS; on a LEVEL, an EQUALITY, a PAR); with axis, pivot, basis, motive, standard, confirmation, or guarantee, consisting in (turn on one\'s heel; works on a peg; based on fact; imprisonment on suspicion; on my conscience; swear on the bible; had it on good authority; decided on no evidence; did it on purpose, deliberation; got it on good terms; on account of; on the average, whole; on penalty of death; charged him on his life to do it; a tax on paper; borrowed money on his jewels; interest on one\'s capital; profit on sales); (so as to be) close to, in the direction of, touching, arrived at, against, just at, (house is on the shore, road; on the right, North, far side, both sides; of; Burton on Trent; marched on London; hit him on the head; a box on the ear; left a card on him; serve a notice, writ, on; lay hold, seize, on; bowling is on the wicket, straight; drew his knife on me; smile, frown, turn one\'s back, on; make an attack on; put one on inquiring or inquiry, induce him to inquire; curse, plague, &c., on him, it!; rose on their oppressors; on HIGH; on side in football, not OFF side; ship is driving on shore; an onshore wind); (of time) during, exactly at, contemporaneously with, immediately after, as a result of, (happened on the morning &c. of 29th Feb., on Christmas eve, on the next day; on the instant, immediately; on time, the minute, &c., punctually; on arriving, my return, analysis, examination, I found); in manner specified by adj. (on the cheap, sly, SQUARE) or state or action specified by noun (on fire, TAP, loan, lease, sale, strike, guard; on the look-out, move, run, wane, watch; on one\'s best behaviour); concerning, about, while engaged with, so as to affect, (keen, mad, bent, determined, set, on; gone on slang, enamoured of; court martial was held on him; my opinion on free trade; writes, speaks, lectures, on finance; a book, an essay, on grammar; meditating on vanity; take vengeance on person; did it on my way; was, went, on an errand; is not binding on us; work tells severely on him; title was conferred on him; draw cheque on bank; condoled with him on his loss); added to (ruin on ruin, heaps on heaps). [old English]
part of speech: adverb
(So as to be) supported by, attached to, covering, enclosing, or touching, something (has, drew, his boots on; put the table cloth on; keep your HAIR on; on with your coat, put it on); in some direction, towards something, further forward, towards point of contact, in advanced position or state, with continued movement or action, in operation or activity, (LOOK, LOOKER, on; getting on for two o\'clock; broadside, stem, end, on, with that part forward; ellipt. for imperat. of go or come on, as on, Stanley, on!; send on, in front of one-self; MOVE on; happened later on; from that day on; was well on in the day; is rather on slang, half-drunk; speak, work, wait, &c., on, continue to do so; so struggle on to the end, cf. on to below; slow bowler is, went, on, is, began, bowling; Macbeth is on, being performed; gas, water, is on, lit, running, or procurable by turning tap; get, be, on, make, have made, bet; drove Jones on for 4 in cricket, to the on); CARRY, CATCH, COME, GET, GO, HOLD, KEEP, PUT, TAKE, TRY, on; on& off, = OFF& on; on to, compound prep. (corresponding to on as into to in, but usu. written as two words, & avoided in writing though common in speech; to be distinguished from the use in which each word has independent force as in went on to the next), to a position on (jumped on to the landing-stage). (Adj.) towards or in part of field to left front of playing batsman\'s wicket (cf. OFF, LEG; MID-on; an on drive, whence on-drive v.t.); on licence, for selling beer &c. to be drunk on premises. (N.) the on side in cricket (a fine drive to the on).