Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1100-1200
Origin: up + on


up‧on S3 W1 formal
1 used to mean 'on' or 'onto':
an honour bestowed upon the association
We are completely dependent upon your help.
Brandon threw him upon the ground.
2 if a time or event is upon you, it is about to happen:
Winter is almost upon us.

layer upon layer/mile upon mile etc

used to emphasize that there are a lot of layers, miles etc:
mile upon mile of golden sand

➔ once upon a time

at once1 (14)

➔ take it upon yourself to do something

at take1 (27)

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