- 1 when a performer goes on, they begin their performance She doesn't go on until Act 2.
- 2 (in sport) to join a team as a substitute during a game Walcott went on in place of Rooney just before half-time.
- 3 when a light, the electricity, etc. goes on, it starts to work Suddenly all the lights went on. opposite go off (4)
- 4 (of time) to pass She became more and more talkative as the evening went on.
- 5 (also be going on) to happen What's going on here?
- 6 if a situation goes on, it continues without changing This cannot be allowed to go on. How much longer will this hot weather go on for? We can't go on like this—we seem to be always arguing.
- 7 to continue speaking, often after a short pause She hesitated for a moment and then went on. + speech ‘You know,’ he went on, ‘I think my brother could help you.’
- 8 used to encourage somebody to do something Go on! Have another drink! Go on—jump!
to travel in front of somebody else You go on ahead—I'll catch you up in a few minutes.
(used in negative sentences and questions) to base an opinion or a judgement on something The police don't have much to go on.
(informal) to talk about somebody/something for a long time, especially in a boring or complaining way He went on and on about how poor he was. She does go on sometimes! See related entries: Boredom
(informal, especially British English) to complain to somebody about their behaviour, work, etc. synonym criticize She goes on at him continually.