American English

Definition of on adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ɔn//
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  1. 1For 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. used to show that something continues He worked on without a break. If you like a good story, read on.
  2. 2used to show that someone or something moves or is sent forward She stopped for a moment, then walked on. He handed me a form to fill out and moved on to the next person. From then on he never trusted her again. Please send the letter on to my new address.
  3. 3on someone'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. 4covering, touching, or forming part of something Make sure the lid is on.
  5. 5connected 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. 6happening There was a war on at the time. What's on at the movies? The band is on (= performing) in ten minutes.
  7. 7planned to take place in the future The game is still on (= it has not been canceled). I don't think we have anything on this weekend. I'm sorry we can't come—we have a lot on.
  8. 8on duty; working I'm on now till 8 tomorrow morning.
  9. 9in or into a vehicle The bus stopped and four people got on. They hurried on to the plane. see also onto
  10. Idioms
    off and on/on and off
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    from time to time; now and again It rained on and off all day.
    = off without stopping; continuously She went on and on about her trip.
    what are you, etc. on? (informal)
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    used when you are very surprised at someone's behavior and are suggesting that they are acting in a similar way to someone using drugs
    you're on (informal)
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    used when you are accepting a bet
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: on