/ɒn / (say on)

preposition a particle expressing:
1. position above and in contact with a supporting surface: on the table.
2. contact with any surface: the picture on the wall; the shoes on my feet.
3. immediate proximity: a house on the coast; to border on absurdity.
4. situation, place, location, etc.: a scar on the face; a journey on the plain.
5. Obsolete in; at: we saw him on the night camp; on Bendigo
6. support, suspension, dependence, reliance, or means of conveyance: on foot; on wheels.
7. state, condition, course, process, etc.: on the way; on strike.
8. ground or basis: on good authority; a story based on fact.
9. risk or liability: on pain of death.
10. time or occasion: on Sunday.
11. position with relation to something else: on the left; on the other side.
12. direction or end of motion: to march on the capital.
13. encounter: to happen on a person.
14. object or end of action, thought, desire, etc.: to gaze on a scene.
15. membership or association: on the staff of a newspaper; to serve on a jury.
16. agency or means: to speak on the telephone; we saw it on television.
17. manner: on the cheap; on the sly.
18. subject, reference, or respect: views on public matters.
19. Colloquial relation of someone to an event which affects them, especially where they are morally responsible: I don't want him to die on me; the apples went bad on me.
20. liability for expense: drinks are on the house.
21. engagement in the mining of a specified resource: on the tin.
22. Colloquial indulgence to excess: he's on the bottle; on the turps.
23. Colloquial direction of attention or emotion: don't go crook on me.
24. on oneself or itself: to put one's coat on.
25. fast to a thing, as for support: to hold on.
26. towards a place, point, or object: to look on.
27. forwards, onwards or along, as in any course or process: further on.
28. with continuous procedure: to work on.
29. into or in active operation or performance: to turn the gas on.
30. operating or in use: the heating is on; the handbrake is on.
31. taking place; occurring: sport is on tomorrow.
32. Cricketleg-side.
33. (of items in a menu) available.
34. Theatre on stage: you'll be on in five minutes.
35. the state or fact of being on.
36. Cricket the on side.
37. be on, Colloquial
a. to be willing or in agreement: you're on.
b. to have placed a bet.
c. to be habitually taking (a drug): on heroin.
d. to be currently under the effects of (a drug): he was on eccy that night.
38. be on about, Colloquial
a. to be primarily concerned with: what is this article on about?
b. to be complaining about: he's always on about the way he's treated.
39. be on at, Colloquial to nag.
40. be on for young and old, Colloquial (with impersonal it as subject) to be a situation in which there is general licence, especially fighting and brawling: *Somebody punched a TV cameraman. Soon, Lenny thought, it'll be on for young and old. –dorothy hewett, 1999.
41. be on to a good thing,
a. to have hit upon a successful, especially money-making, scheme, project, etc.
b. to be optimistic of having sexual intercourse.
42. be on with, Colloquial to be involved in a relationship with.
43. get on to, Colloquial
a. to follow up (a matter).
b. to consult (a person); contact.
44. go on (and on) about, to complain repeatedly or incessantly about: *Nan would go on and on about how useless doctors were –sally morgan, 1987.
45. go on at, Colloquial to berate; scold.
46. have oneself on, Colloquial to think oneself better, more skilled, or more important than one really is.
47. have someone on, Colloquial
a. to tease or deceive someone.
b. to accept a fight or competition with someone: I'll have you on any time.
48. not on, Colloquial not a possibility; not allowable: to buy a car now is just not on.
49. on and off, intermittently.
50. on and on, at great length; without interruption.
51. on the road,
a. travelling as a salesperson.
b. droving cattle.
c. on tour, as a theatrical company.
d. advancing or progressing in an enterprise or activity.
52. on the roads, (formerly, of convicts) sentenced to hard labour.
53. on to, Colloquial in a state of awareness about; knowing or realising the true meaning, nature, etc., of: the police are already on to your little game.
54. you're on, Colloquial (an exclamation indicating agreement to a request, offer, suggestion, etc.)
{Middle English on, an, o, Old English on, an on, in, to; distantly related to Greek ana up, upon. See ana-.}

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.