• WordNet 3.6
    • adj on in operation or operational "left the oven on","the switch is in the on position"
    • adj on (of events) planned or scheduled "the picnic is on, rain or shine","we have nothing on for Friday night"
    • adv on with a forward motion "we drove along admiring the view","the horse trotted along at a steady pace","the circus traveled on to the next city","move along","march on"
    • adv on indicates continuity or persistence or concentration "his spirit lives on","shall I read on?"
    • adv on in a state required for something to function or be effective "turn the lights on","get a load on"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"Katie stood on the doorstep." "Katie stood on the doorstep."
On the Way to Godalming from Haslemere On the Way to Godalming from Haslemere
Squanko sitting on a wide window ledge Squanko sitting on a wide window ledge
Piled Us out on Top of Dad 269 Piled Us out on Top of Dad 269
Started on a Stampede for the Pyramids 311 Started on a Stampede for the Pyramids 311

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: On average redheads have 90,000 hairs. People with black hair have about 110,000 hairs
    • On Adhering; not off; as in the phrase, “He is neither on nor off,” that is, he is not steady, he is irresolute.
    • On At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain from labor. See Atsynonym).
    • On 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.
    • On At the peril of, or for the safety of.
    • On 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.
    • On 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.
    • On Attached to the body, as clothing or ornament, or for use. "I have boots on .""He put on righteousness as a breastplate."
    • On 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.
    • On 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.
    • On Forward, in progression; onward; -- usually with a verb of motion; as, move on; go on; the beat goes on. "Time glides on .""The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger."
    • On Forward, in succession; as, from father to son, from the son to the grandson, and so on .
    • On In addition to; besides; -- indicating multiplication or succession in a series; as, heaps on heaps; mischief on mischief; loss on loss; thought on thought.
    • On In continuance; without interruption or ceasing; as, sleep on, take your ease; say on; sing on.
    • On In progress; proceeding; ongoing; as, a game is on .
    • On In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect punctuality; a satire on society.
    • On In reference to; about; concerning; as, to think on it; to meditate on it.
    • On In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is on a newspaper; on a committee.
    • On 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.
    • On 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.
    • On Of. "The name of John a a day is it ?""It's six a clock."
    • prep On ŏn The general signification of on is situation, motion, or condition with respect to contact or support beneath☞ Instances of this usage are common in our older writers, and are sometimes now heard in illiterate speech.
    • on to go on with difficulty; as, they manage, with strict economy, to rub along .
    • On 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.
    • On 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.
    • On Toward; for; -- indicating the object of some passion; as, have pity or compassion on him.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: On average, Americans spend $1300 on utility bills annually
    • on As used of place or position with regard to the upper and external part of something: In a position above and in contact with: used before a word of place indicating a thing upon which another thing rests, or is made to rest: as, the book on the table; the stamp on a coin; moonlight on a lake.
    • on In such a position as to be supported, upheld, or borne by; with the support of; by means of: as, to go on wheels, on runners, or on all fours; to hang on a nail.
    • on Noting the goal or terminal point to which some motion or action expressed by an intransitive verb is or has been directed and in which it rests: as, to dote on her child; to look on his face; to insist on a settlement; to resolve on a course of action; to live on an income; to dwell on a subject.
    • on Noting the object to, for, or against which, or by virtue or on the strength of which, some action or operation is directed, performed, or carried out: as, to spend money on finery; to have compassion on the poor; to prove a charge on (that is, against) a man; to bet on one's success; to make war on Russia.
    • on About; concerning; in regard to; on the subject of: as, Pope's “Essay on Criticism”; a sermon on Death; to agree on a plan of operations; to tell tales on a person.
    • on Noting the instrument with or by which some action is performed: as, to play on the piano; to swear on the Bible.
    • on Noting the ground, basis, motive, method, reason, or reliance of or for some action: as, on certain terms or conditions; on a promise of secrecy; on purpose; on parol; hence, as used in asseverations and oaths, by: as, on the word of a gentleman; on my honor.
    • on In betting, in support of the chances of; on the side of: as, I bet on the red against the black. Hence. to be on, to have made a bet or bets; to be well on, to have laid bets so as to stand a good chance of winning.
    • on As used of position with reference to external surface or to surface in general: In a position so as to cover, overlie, or overspread: as, the shoes on one's feet; bread with butter on both sides.
    • on Fastened to or suspended from: as, he wears a seal on is watch-chain.
    • on In a position of being attached to or forming part of: as, he was on the staff or on the committee.
    • on As used of relative position: In a position at, near, or adjacent to: indicating situation or position, without implying contact or support: as, on the other side: on Broadway; on the coast of Maine; hence, very near to; so as to attain, reach, or arrive at: expressing near approach or contact: as, to verge on presumption; to be on the point of yielding.
    • on In the precise direction of; exactly conforming to or agreeing with: as, on the line; on the bull's eye; on the key (in music).
    • on To; toward; in the general direction of.
    • on After: with follow.
    • on After and in consequence of; from, as a cause: as, on this we separated.
    • on At the time of: expressing occurrence in time: as, he arrived on Wednesday; on the evening before the battle; on public occasions.
    • on In addition to: as, heaps on heaps; loss on loss.
    • on In, to, or into a state or condition of: as, ale on tap (that is, ready to be drawn); to set a house on fire; all on a heap (that is, heaped up). Compare asleep, afire, etc., where a- was originally on.
    • on In the act or process of; occupied with: as, on the march; on duty; on one's guard. Compare a-fishing, a-hunting, where a- was originally on.
    • on In; into: in various uses now generally expressed by in or into: as, to break on pieces; to cleave on two parts; to read or write on book.
    • on Over.
    • on To.
    • on At.
    • on With.
    • on For.
    • on From.
    • on By.
    • on Of.
    • on Synonyms On, Upon. These words are in many uses identical in force, but upon is by origin (up + on) and in use more distinctly expressive of motion to the object from above or from the side. On has the same force, but is so widely used in other ways, and so often expresses mere rest, that it is felt by careful writers to be inadequate to the uses for which upon is preferred.
    • on In or into a position in contact with and supported by the top or upper part of something; up: as, keep your hat on; he stopped a street-car, and got on.
    • on In or into place, as a garment or other covering, or an ornament: as, to pull on one's clothes; to put on one's boots; to try on a hat.
    • on In or into place or position for use or action: as, to bring on the fruit or the coffee; specifically, into position on a stage or platform, before the footlights or an audience.
    • on In or into movement or action; in or into a condition of activity from a state of confinement or restraint: as, to turn on the gas; to bring on a fit of coughing; to bring on a contest.
    • on In operation; in progress: as, the auction is going on; the debate is on.
    • on In the same place or position; without yielding: as, to hang, stick, or hold on.
    • on To or at something serving as an object of observation: as, to look on without taking part; to be a mere looker-on.
    • on Forth; forward; onward; ahead: as, move on; pass on.
    • on In the same course or direction: as, go straight on (that is, in continuance of some action, operation, or relation that has been begun); in regular continuance or sequence: as, go, write, say, laugh, keep on; go on with your story; how long will you keep on trifling? from father to son, from son to grandson, and so on.
    • on In advance; forward; in the sequel.
    • on In the direction of progress, advancement, achievement, or attainment: as, to get on in the world; to be well on in one's courtship.
    • on Toward; so as to approach; near; nigh.
    • on Alternately away from and toward the shore: said of a ship: as, to stand off and on.
    • on See the verbs.
    • on In cricket, noting that part of the field to the left of a right-handed batter and to the right of the bowler: the opposite of off.
    • n on In cricket, that part of the field to the right of the bowler and to the left of the batter.
    • n on An obsolete form of one.
    • on Without: usually followed by a perfect participle with being or having (which may be omitted): as, could na ye mind, on being tauld sa aften?
    • on A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, being the preposition or adverb on used as a prefix, with its usual meanings. See examples below.
    • on An obsolete form of the prefix an- as in answer, etc.
    • on An obsolete or dialectal form of the negative prefix un-.
    • on An obsolete or dialectal form of the prefix un- before verbs.
    • on In coal-mining, in a direction parallel to the main cleavage-planes or -joints of a coal-seam, and at right angles to the end-joints.
    • on An abbreviation of Old Norse.
    • on An abbreviation of Old Northern French.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: On average, a strawberry has 200 seeds on it
    • On weighing down as a burden
    • prep On on in contact with the upper part of: to and toward the surface of: upon or acting by contact with: not off: at or near: at or during: in addition to: toward, for: at the peril of: in consequence: immediately after:
    • adv On above, or next beyond: forward, in succession: in continuance: not off
    • interj On go on! proceed!—adj. denoting the part of the field to the left of a right-handed batter, and to the right of the bowler—opp. to Off.
    • prep On on (Scot.) without.
    • prep On on (B.) off
    • ***


  • Zig Ziglar
    “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”
  • Robert Half
    Robert Half
    “Acting on a good idea is better than just having a good idea.”
  • John Milton
    “How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!”
  • Louis Armstrong
    Louis Armstrong
    “I got a simple rule about everybody. If you don't treat me right -- shame on you!”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Everything I do you blame on me.”
  • Harold S. Geneen
    “You can't run a business or anything else on a theory.”


A lot on my plate - If you have got a lot on your plate, you are very busy and have commitments.
All eyes on me - If all eyes are on someone, then everyone is paying attention to them.
Answers on a postcard - This idiom can be used to suggest that the answer to something is very obvious or that the person would really like to hear what people think.
As much use as a handbrake on a canoe - This idiom is used to describe someone or something as worthless or pointless.
Be on the pig's back - If you're on the pig's back, you're happy / content / in fine form.
Bells on - (USA) To be somewhere with bells on means to arrive there happy and delighted to attend.
Boot is on the other foot - When the boot's on the other foot, a person who was in a position of weakness is now in a position of strength.
Born on the wrong side of the blanket - A child born on the wrong side of the blanket is illegitimate- his or her parents were not married at the time of the birth.
Bring on board - To make people embrace the ideas intended by the leader or agree to join a team or project is to bring them on board.
Bums on seats - The people who have paid to watch a performance are bums on seats.
Call on the carpet - If you are called on the carpet, you are summoned for a reprimand by superiors or others in power.
Cast doubt on - If you make other people not sure about a matter, then you have cast doubt on it.
Champagne taste on a beer budget - Someone who lives above their means and likes things they cannot afford has champagne taste on a beer budget.
Chew on a bone - If someone is chewing on a bone, he or she is thinking about something intently.
Chip on your shoulder - If someone has a chip on their shoulder, they are resentful about something and feel that they have been treated badly.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. on, an, o, a, AS. on, an,; akin to D. aan, OS. & G. an, OHG. ana, Icel. ā, Sw. å, Goth. ana, Russ. na, L. an-, in anhelare, to pant, Gr. 'ana`, Zend ana,. √195. Cf. A-, 1, Ana- Anon
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. on; Dut. aan, Ice. á, Ger. an.


In literature:

On providing a proper supply of family stores, on the economical care and use of them, and on the furniture and arrangement of a store-closet.
"A Treatise on Domestic Economy" by Catherine Esther Beecher
Time and again he kicked me, brutally, relentlessly, on the ribs, on the chest, on the head.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Oh, the snow, mounded on cap, on cartridge box, on rolled blanket and haversack.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
For some years cattle breeding has been carried on successfully enough, but on a comparatively small scale, in this State.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
The barns and lots were on one side de road dey were trabellin' on and de houses on de other.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
While I am on the subject of natural history, I will describe another species of seal, which we found on some islands on which we landed.
"Old Jack" by W.H.G. Kingston
Frequently the King appeared on horseback, with Prince Juan on one side and Columbus on the other.
"Notable Voyagers" by W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
He walked on, and on, and on.
"Taking Tales" by W.H.G. Kingston
On the 29/18th July the ice on Matotschkin Schar broke up, and on the 13th/2nd August the sound was completely free of ice.
"The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II" by A.E. Nordenskieold
I threw myself down on my face on the grass and watched the battle taking place on the other side of the river.
"1914" by John French, Viscount of Ypres

In poetry:

And a great cry rang round the sky
Of glorious singers sweeping by,
And calm and fair on waves that shone
The Silver Ship sailed on and on.
"The Ballad of Iskander" by James Elroy Flecker
I stood on the bridge at midnight
At the railway station —way back,
And what should I see on the tram-lines
But a train on the railway track!
"The Scotch Express —From Ireland" by T W Connor
BIRD sighs for the air,
Thought for I know not where,
For the womb the seed sighs.
Now sinks the same rest
On mind, on nest,
On straining thighs.
"The Lover's Song" by William Butler Yeats
TWINS of one morning, on a single stem,
Two Roses side by side were growing,
On each alike there hung a diamond drop,
Fresh on its balmy bosom glowing.
"The Twin Roses" by Caroline Fry
The twilight lingers still
I hate the hues on the hill;
I hate the sundown streak!
Oh! if I could but wreak
On crimson crag, on saffron peak,
My baffled will!
"The Human Tragedy ACT I" by Alfred Austin
Her master rode on a very beautiful steed,
And Fido followed behind at slow speed,
And so they travelled on and on,
And the road was dusty, and they felt woe-begone.
"The Faithful Dog Fido" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

She's done it on the pages of children's books, on fabric, in embroidery patterns and on her blog.
The dado on the left is obviously too wide, the center dado acceptable (though just a skoshe wide), while that on the right is dead on.
European Union sanctions on Iran entered into full force today after exemptions on some contracts and insurance ended, boosting crude prices and pressure on the Persian Gulf nation to halt its nuclear-enrichment program.
He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college football and baseball.
But for "Up Country," his new novel coming out on Tuesday, he relied more on his own memory and less on researching his subject matter.
Yesterday, as I was flipping through channels on the television, I stumbled across a minister who was talking about the need for people to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.
Erie police said a man wanted on a warrant for escaping from a Pittsburgh prison facility in September resurfaced in Erie on Sunday, when he robbed a pizza deliveryman on the city's west side.
Rachel Maddow was on a tear during her show on Wednesday, her first chance to offer an unvarnished take on why Republicans lost the presidency and a bunch of competitive Senate races.
Director Tony Scott on location for "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" on the streets of Manhattan on May 11, 2008, in New York.
A New York City police officer keeps an eye on the crowd as New Year's Eve festivities begin on Times Square on Dec 31, 2009.
Russia on Thursday blocked adoption of a draft UN statement condemning a deadly Syrian mortar attack on a Turkish town and proposed a weaker text calling for "restraint" on the border without referring to breaches of international law.
As Sammy Hagar prepares to turn 65 on Saturday (Oct 13), he is also putting the finishing touches on his hyped-p annual birthday bash, which will held on the sandy beaches of San Lucas, Mexico on Friday.
Since 2010, a dozen murals have sprung up on Broadway Street, between the I-75 underpass on the north and Crittendon Avenue on the south CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW FULL PHOTO, START SLIDE SHOW.
"All my friends felt sorry for me because I was on a midseason replacement on a network no one had heard of on a show based on a movie that wasn't all that".
Chuck 's weather reports can also be heard on "Jim Denney and Friends" on 95.5 WFMS-FM, Warm 93.9 FM and on the Morning Show on WLBC in Muncie.

In science:

A hermitian vector bund le on X is a pair E = (E , h) of a vector bundle E on X and an F∞ -invariant hermitian metric h on the holomorphic vector bundle E (C) on X (C).
Higher arithmetic K-theory
Taking Dirichlet boundary conditions on a random curve, one can then consider the joint distribution of potential on both sides, namely H+ on one side, and H− on the other, such that H+ (z → wα,α′ ) ∼ rα , H− (z → wα,α′ ) ∼ rα′ when approaching a point wα,α′ of the subset Fα,α′ at distance r = |z − wα,α′ | (Fig. 10).
Conformal Fractal Geometry and Boundary Quantum Gravity
Given Λ, a box measure µ on the space of functions φ on Λ is a uniform measure on a set B = {φ|φ1 < φ < φ2} where φ1 and φ2 are also real functions on Λ. (We write f < g if f (x) < g (x) for each x ∈ Λ.) An upper bound on the free energy of µ is given by supφ∈B HΦ (φ) − Pη∈Λ log(φ2(η ) − φ1(η )).
Random Surfaces
The isomorphism τ induces a bijection between GC structures on V and GC structures on V ∗ . C is a GCS on V if and only if τ (E ) is a GCS on V ∗ .
Submanifolds of generalized complex manifolds
Let me spend a few words on the space of connections on P , AP : as already seen at the end of Section 2, the gauge group GP operates on the right on AP .
Holonomy and parallel transport in the differential geometry of the space of loops and the groupoid of generalized gauge transformations