- behaving in a theatrical, lively, or ingratiating way: Around close friends, one doesn't have to be on every minute.
- functioning or performing at one's best: When she's on, no other tennis player is half as good.
Origin of on
Related Words for onssupersede, pursue, displace, replace, succeed, supplant, result, ensue, chase, postdate, on
Examples from the Web for ons
Historical Examples of ons
Ons Land, on the other hand, expressed approval of the letter as it stood.Lord Milner's Work in South Africa
W. Basil Worsfold
Thy fall may last a million ons, but thou shalt die at last.Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2
The mystery concealed from the ons and from their offspring.The Influence of Buddhism on Primitive Christianity
Tomahawk, uagachkuatons-poagann (ach guttural, ons French, but s audible; ann German).
Gain alone buried them in the dim ca¤ons of the Yuba and American.The Little Lady of Lagunitas
Richard Henry Savage
abbreviation for (in Britain)
- regularly taking (a drug)she's on the pill
- addicted tohe's on heroin
- staked or wagered as a betten pounds on that horse
- charged tothe drinks are on me
adverb (often used as a particle)
- performing, as on stageI'm on in five minutes
- definitely taking placethe match is on for Friday; their marriage is still on
- tolerable, practicable, acceptable, etcyour plan just isn't on
- (of a person) willing to do something
- (modifier)relating to or denoting the leg side of a cricket field or pitchthe on side; an on drive
- (in combination)used to designate certain fielding positions on the leg sidelong-on; mid-on
Word Origin for on
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.