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Also, ON. O.N. Old Norse.
Ontario, Canada (approved for postal use). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for o-n


in contact or connection with the surface of; at the upper surface of: an apple on the ground, a mark on the table cloth
attached to: a puppet on a string
carried with: I've no money on me
in the immediate vicinity of; close to or along the side of: a house on the sea, this verges on the ridiculous!
within the time limits of a day or date: he arrived on Thursday
being performed upon or relayed through the medium of: what's on the television?
at the occasion of: on his retirement
used to indicate support, subsistence, contingency, etc: he lives on bread, it depends on what you want
  1. regularly taking (a drug): she's on the pill
  2. addicted to: he's on heroin
by means of (something considered as a mode of transport) (esp in such phrases as on foot, on wheels, on horseback, etc)
in the process or course of: on a journey, on strike
concerned with or relating to: a tax on potatoes, a programme on archaeology
used to indicate the basis, grounds, or cause, as of a statement or action: I have it on good authority
against: used to indicate opposition: they marched on the city at dawn
used to indicate a meeting or encounter: he crept up on her
(used with an adjective preceded by the) indicating the manner or way in which an action is carried out: on the sly, on the cheap
  1. staked or wagered as a bet: ten pounds on that horse
  2. charged to: the drinks are on me
(usually followed by it) (Austral) drinking alcoholic liquor
(informal or dialect) to the loss or disadvantage of: the old car gave out on us
adverb (often used as a particle)
in the position or state required for the commencement or sustained continuation, as of a mechanical operation: the radio's been on all night
attached to, surrounding, or placed in contact with something: the girl had nothing on
taking place: what's on tonight?
in a manner indicating continuity, persistence, concentration, etc: don't keep on about it, the play went on all afternoon
in a direction towards something, esp forwards; so as to make progress: we drove on towards London, march on!
on and off, off and on, intermittently; from time to time
on and on, without ceasing; continually
functioning; operating: turn the switch to the on position
(postpositive) (informal)
  1. performing, as on stage: I'm on in five minutes
  2. definitely taking place: the match is on for Friday, their marriage is still on
  3. tolerable, practicable, acceptable, etc: your plan just isn't on
  4. (of a person) willing to do something
(informal) on at, nagging: she was always on at her husband
(cricket) (of a bowler) bowling
  1. (modifier) relating to or denoting the leg side of a cricket field or pitch: the on side, an on drive
  2. (in combination) used to designate certain fielding positions on the leg side: long-on, mid-on
Word Origin
Old English an, on; related to Old Saxon an, Old High German, Gothic ana


the ancient Egyptian and biblical name for Heliopolis


Old Norse
(esp in postal addresses) Ontario
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for o-n



Old English on, unstressed variant of an "in, on, into," from Proto-Germanic *ana "on" (cf. Dutch aan, German an, Gothic ana "on, upon"), from PIE root *an- "on" (cf. Avestan ana "on," Greek ana "on, upon," Latin an-, Old Church Slavonic na, Lithuanian nuo "down from"). Also used in Old English in many places where we would now use in. From 16c.-18c. (and still in northern England dialect) often reduced to o'. Phrase on to "aware" is from 1877. On time is from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for o-n



  1. Aware; informed; alerted: I saw he was on, and quit talking (1885+)
  2. Not canceled; scheduled to happen: The deal's still on/ It's on for tomorrow night (1908+)
  3. Accepted and confirmed as a partner, competitive bettor, etc: He said he bet he could do it, and I told him he was on/ You want to go up there with us? You're on (1812+)
  4. Performing; presenting a talk, appeal, etc, as if one were on stage: She's never relaxed, she's always on/ Better review your points, since you're on next (1793+) prep 1 Paid for by; with the compliments of: This was to be on him (1871+) 2 Taking; using; addicted to: He had her on penicillin/ He was on acid and barbiturates at the time (1936+ Narcotics)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for o-n


Old Norse
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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o-n in the Bible

light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship, called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17), stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east. The Vulgate and the LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the sun") instead of On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The "city of destruction" Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. "of Heres;" Heb. 'Ir-ha-heres, which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., "city of the sun") may be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will come when that city which was known as the "city of the sun-god" shall become the "city of destruction" of the sun-god, i.e., when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be established. In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. "Cleopatra's Needle" was one of those which stood in this city in front of the Temple of Tum, i.e., "the sun." It is now erected on the Thames Embankment, London. "It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple." This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his acquaintance with "all the wisdom of the Egyptians."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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