Definition of on adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɒn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɑːn//
    , NAmE//ɔːn//
    For the special uses of on in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example get on is in the phrasal verb section at get.
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  1. 1  used to show that something continues He worked on without a break. If you like a good story, read on.
  2. 2  used to show that somebody/something moves or is sent forward She stopped for a moment, then walked on. Keep straight on for the beach. From then on he never trusted her again. Please send the letter on to my new address.
  3. 3  on somebody’s body; being worn Put your coat on. I didn't have my glasses on. What did she have on (= what was she wearing)?
  4. 4  covering, touching or forming part of something Make sure the lid is on.
  5. 5  connected or operating; being used The lights were all on. The TV is always on in their house. We were without electricity for three hours but it's on again now.
  6. 6  happening There was a war on at the time. What's on at the movies? The band are on (= performing) in ten minutes.
  7. 7  planned to take place in the future The game is still on (= it has not been cancelled). I don't think we've got anything on this weekend. I'm sorry we can't come—we've got a lot on.
  8. 8  on duty; working I'm on now till 8 tomorrow morning.
  9. 9  in or into a vehicle The bus stopped and four people got on. They hurried on to the plane. see also onto
  10. Word OriginOld English on, an, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aan and German an, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek ana.Idioms (informal) to talk about something; to mean something I didn't know what he was on about. It didn't make sense.
    be/go/keep on about something
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    (informal, disapproving) to talk in a boring or complaining way about something Stop keeping on about it!
    be/go/keep on at somebody (to do something)
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    (informal, disapproving) to keep asking or telling somebody something so that they become annoyed or tired He was on at me again to lend him money.
    (informal) to want to do something Is anyone on for a drink after work? (informal) used to say that something is not acceptable from time to time; now and again It rained on and off all day. without stopping; continuously She went on and on about her trip. (informal) used when you are very surprised at somebody’s behaviour and are suggesting that they are acting in a similar way to somebody using drugs (informal) used when you are accepting a bet
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: on