[ uh-pon, uh-pawn ]
/ əˈpɒn, əˈpɔn /
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up and on; upward so as to get or be on: He climbed upon his horse and rode off.
in an elevated position on: There is a television antenna upon every house in the neighborhood.
in or into complete or approximate contact with, as an attacker or an important or pressing occasion: The enemy was upon us and our soldiers had little time to escape. The Christmas holiday will soon be upon us and we have hardly begun to buy gifts. The time to take action is upon us.
immediately or very soon after: She went into mourning upon her husband's death.
on the occasion of: She was joyful upon seeing her child take his first steps.
on (in any of various senses, used as an equivalent of on with no added idea of ascent or elevation, and preferred in certain cases only for euphonic or metrical reasons): He swore upon his honor as a gentleman.
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Origin of upon

1150–1200; Middle English; see up (adv.), on (preposition)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use upon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for upon

/ (əˈpɒn) /

another word for on
indicating a position reached by going upclimb upon my knee
imminent forthe weekend was upon us again

Word Origin for upon

C13: from up + on
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with upon


see act on (upon); call on (upon); chance on (upon); come across (upon); come on (upon); count on (upon); dawn on (upon); dwell on (upon); enter on (upon); fall back on (upon); fall on (upon); grow on (upon); hard on (upon); hit on (upon); incumbent upon; light on (upon); once upon a time; pitch on (upon); play on (upon); put upon; seize on (upon); set at (upon); take it upon oneself; wait on (upon); weigh on (upon); work on (upon).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.