onon1 /ɒn $ ɑːn, ɒːn/ ●●●S1W1 preposition 🔊 🔊 1ON/ON TOP OFon a surfacea)touching a surface or being supported by a surface 🔊 Leave your things on the table over there. 🔊 People were sunbathing on the grass. 🔊 The little girl was sitting on her father’s shoulders.b)used to say that someone or something moves so that they are then touching or supported by a surface 🔊 snow falling on the mountainsides 🔊 He threw himself on the bed.2supporting your body used to say what part of someone’s body is touching the ground or another surface and supporting their weight 🔊 She was on her feet in no time. 🔊 He was on his hands and knees searching for something. 🔊 Can you stand on your head?3part hit/touched used to say what part of someone or something is hit or touched 🔊 I wanted to punch him on the nose. 🔊 Matt kissed her on the cheek.4written/shown used to say where something is written or shown 🔊 There’s a diagram on page 25. 🔊 He wrote his phone number on a piece of paper.5CONNECTED WITHSUPPORT/HOLD UPattachedattached to or hanging from something 🔊 She hung her coat on a hook. 🔊 Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.6place in a particular place 🔊 The town is right on the border. 🔊 Is there a water supply on the island? 🔊 He grew up on a ranch in California. 🔊 a store on Fifth Avenue7DIRECTIONposition in a particular position in relation to something else 🔊 You’ll see the school on your left. 🔊 They live on the opposite side of the town.8looking/pointing looking or pointing towards something or someone 🔊 His eyes were on the stranger standing in the doorway. 🔊 She trained her binoculars on the house.9TIME/AT A PARTICULAR TIMEday/date during a particular day 🔊 They’ll be here on Tuesday. 🔊 I was born on July 1st. 🔊 We’ll see you on Christmas Eve.GrammarDon’t use on before ‘this’, ‘last’, or ‘next’ and a day of the week. You say: Term starts this Monday. It was my birthday last Friday.✗Don’t say: on this Monday | on last Friday10EFFECT/INFLUENCEaffecting/relating toaffecting or relating to someone or something 🔊 a tax on cigarettes 🔊 his influence on young people 🔊 There will be new restrictions on the sale of weapons. 🔊 What effect will these changes have on the tourist industry?11aboutABOUT about a particular subject 🔊 Do you have any books on India? 🔊 You can get information on local services by calling this number. 🔊 an international conference on global warming► see thesaurus at about12orders/advice as a result of someone’s order, request, or advice 🔊 He was killed on the King’s orders. 🔊 I accepted the offer on the advice of my lawyer.13eat/drink used to talk about what someone usually eats or drinks 🔊 They live mainly on beans, lentils, and rice. 🔊 Is your baby on solid food yet?14TTTRAVELtransporta)in or into a bus, train, plane etc opp off 🔊 Did you manage to sleep on the plane? 🔊 Tommy should be on the six o’clock train. 🔊 She got on the first bus that came along.b)riding something 🔊 a statue of the King on horseback 🔊 I’ll probably come on my bike.15DFmoneyreceiving money for a job or as a regularpayment 🔊 He’s on quite a good salary now. 🔊 She must be on at least £50,000 a year. 🔊 the difficulties faced by families on low incomes16fuel using a particular type of fuel or power 🔊 Most buses run on diesel. 🔊 Does it work on mains electricity?17MDmedicine/drugs taking a particular drug or medicine regularly opp off 🔊 Are you still on antibiotics? 🔊 The doctor put her on Prozac. 🔊 A lot of these kids are on heroin by the age of 12.18 →what’s somebody on?19using equipment using a machine or piece of equipment 🔊 He’s been on the computer all afternoon. 🔊 Is Rachel still on the phone?20musical instruments playing a musicalinstrument 🔊 He played a short piece on the piano. 🔊 The album features Rick Wakeman on keyboards.21TCTAMTradio/television being broadcast by radio or television 🔊 What’s on TV tonight? 🔊 Did you hear that programme on the radio last night?22recorded used to say in what forminformation is stored or music, films etc are recorded 🔊 The movie is now available on video and DVD. 🔊 I always keep a backup copy on disk.23TRAVELactivity/journey taking part in an activity or travelling somewhere 🔊 She’s on a course all this week. 🔊 I met him on vacation in Canada. 🔊 My girlfriend is often away on business trips.24SSODSincludedincluded in a group or team of people or in a list 🔊 Are you still on the management committee? 🔊 Mr Edwards is no longer on the staff here. 🔊 Whose team are you on? 🔊 There was no steak on the menu. 🔊 What’s the next item on the agenda?25when something happens formalIMMEDIATELY as soon as someone has done something or as soon as something has happened 🔊 Couples are presented with a bottle of wine on their arrival at the hotel. 🔊 All patients are examined on admission to the hospital.on doing something 🔊 What was your reaction on seeing him?26compared with somethingCOMPAREcompared with another person or thing 🔊 This essay is a definite improvement on your last one. 🔊 Sales are 10% up on last year.27carrying something informalHAVE if you have something on you, you have it in your pocket, your bag etc 🔊 I don’t have any money on me.28 →be on somebody29telephone number used to say what number you should use in order to telephone someonesyn at American English 🔊 You can contact me on this number.30causing somebody problemsBREAK used when something bad happens to you, for example when something you are using suddenly stops working, or someone you have a relationship with suddenly leaves you 🔊 Suddenly the telephone went dead on me. 🔊 Dorothy’s first husband walked out on her.
onon2 ●●●S1W1 adjective, adverb [not before noun] 🔊 🔊 1CONTINUE/NOT STOPcontinuing used to say that someone continues to do something or something continues to happen, without stopping 🔊 We decided to play on even though it was snowing. 🔊 He went on and on (=talked for a very long time) about his job all evening.2FORWARDfurther if you move, walk etc on, you move forward or further towards something 🔊 If you walk on a little, you can see the coast. 🔊 We drove on towards Manchester.3BEFOREAFTERlater later than or after a particular time 🔊 Now, 40 years on, this is one of the most successful theatres in the country. 🔊 From that moment on I never believed a word she said.4DCCwearing somethingWEAR CLOTHES if you have something on, you are wearing it 🔊 All he had on was a pair of tattered shorts. 🔊 Put your coat on. It’s freezing outside.5attached used to say that something is attached to something else, especially when it is in the correct position opp off 🔊 Is the cover on properly? 🔊 Remember to put the lid back on.6written used to say that something is written somewhere 🔊 He was wearing a badge with his name on.7TTENTERtransport in or into a bus, train etc opp off 🔊 The train stopped and two people got on.8ON/SWITCHED ONlight/machine if a machine, light etc is on, it is operating opp off 🔊 Who left all the lights on? 🔊 The TV’s on, but nobody seems to be watching it. 🔊 He sat down at the desk and switched on the computer.9TCBTELEVISION/RADIObeing broadcast if a radio or television programme etc is on, it is being broadcast 🔊 What time is ‘Star Trek’ on?10HAPPENevents if an event is on, it has been arranged and is happening or will happen opp off 🔊 The transport union has confirmed that the strike is definitely on. 🔊 I’d avoid the city centre – there’s some kind of procession on. 🔊 Is the party still on tonight or have they cancelled it?11APTperforming/speakingperforming or speaking in public 🔊 You’re on in two minutes.12working if you are on at a particular time, you are doing your job at that time 🔊 I’m not on again until two o'clock tomorrow.13 →have something on14 →on and off15 →be/go/keep on at somebody16 →be/go/keep on about something17 →be not on18 →be on for something19 →you’re on →onto
Examples from the Corpus
on• You should visit Chicago while the festival is on.• OK, who left the lights on?• Rick was standing there with nothing on.• I sent Dan on ahead to find us seats at the theater.• Put your shoeson, and let's go.• There's a good comedyon at eight.• I usually get on at Irving Street.• As far as we know, the game is still on for tomorrow.• Let's go on. I want to get home before it gets dark.• You're on in two minutes.on and on• I could go on and on but you already got more than you probably wanted out of this answer.• I hope, I really hope, that this will not drag on and on and on.• I went on and on at her: draw me, draw me, draw me, Mummy!• It goes on and on that way for two solidmonths, like a sixty-day trance-like a contact high.• She goes on and on and on.• The high bluesummerweather goes on and on and by mid-afternoon it's hot up here under the leads.• The war may well just go on and on.• Yet the pump runs on and on, its noise now a constantaccompaniment to their once-quiet lives.