[on-kuhm-ing, awn-]


approaching; nearing: the oncoming train; the oncoming holiday season.
emerging: the oncoming generation of leaders.


approach; onset: the oncoming of winter.

Origin of oncoming

1835–45; on + coming, after verb phrase come on
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oncoming

Contemporary Examples of oncoming

Historical Examples of oncoming

  • He knew not how nor why, yet he got his feel of the oncoming event from the gods themselves.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He stooped; seized a boulder, hurled it at the oncoming Lee.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

  • With the oncoming of the parks and play-grounds, all of this, we may hope, will change.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • They laid her on the ground beside the door and watched the oncoming lights.

    The Solar Magnet

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • He might as well have tried to stop an oncoming rocket ship.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

British Dictionary definitions for oncoming



coming nearer in space or time; approaching


the approach or onsetthe oncoming of winter
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

Word Origin and History for oncoming

1844, from on + coming, present participle of come (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper