adverb

  • 1Physically in contact with and supported by a surface.

    ‘make sure the lid is on’
    • ‘He put the tops on and sealed both glass bottles.’
    • ‘Rinse them in hot water and screw on the lids.’
    • ‘I glued them on and allowed the glue to cure before continuing.’
    • ‘Can I get into the car when the cover is on?’
    • ‘Ben had to come in and help me put the sheets on.’
    • ‘Once the roof was on, the basic structure of the house was completed.’
    1. 1.1 (of clothing) being worn by a person.
      ‘sitting with her coat on’
      • ‘‘What did she have on?’ I asked. ‘A pink top and a blue-jean skirt,’ he said.’
      • ‘With my glasses on I can read signs very far away.’
      • ‘He hastily pulled on his trousers.’
      • ‘In the fitting rooms I slipped on the dress and gasped with pleasure.’
      • ‘The doctor harumped and shoved his hat on.’
      • ‘They all put their jackets on and headed down the driveway.’
      • ‘My feet were huge by now and I couldn't get my boots on.’
      • ‘He answered the door and just had a dressing gown on.’
  • 2Indicating continuation of a movement or action.

    ‘she burbled on’
    ‘he drove on’
    ‘and so on’
    • ‘We started at seven in the morning, worked on without a break until twelve, then, after an hour for lunch, continued again until half-past five.’
    • ‘She waited a few moments, and then walked on.’
    • ‘To learn how you can build muscle while you sleep, read on!’
    • ‘I started competing at 16 and carried on until I was 35.’
    • ‘She cycled on, through the winding streets of the village to the graveyard beside the old stone church.’
    • ‘They ran on, and eventually came into a long hallway.’
    interminably, at length, for a long time, continuously, endlessly, ceaselessly, without a break, without a pause
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    1. 2.1 Further forward; in an advanced state.
      ‘I'll see you later on’
      ‘time's getting on’
      • ‘I need to lock the door, now the evening's drawing on.’
      • ‘Nearly three months on, some of the building work is still not complete.’
      • ‘Later on, the house was subdivided into seven apartments.’
      • ‘I will discuss this in greater depth later on.’
      • ‘A year on, most have returned to their previous lives.’
      • ‘It's getting on. I suppose I'd best get back.’
      • ‘From that moment on, his career as an artist seemed certain.’
      onward, onwards, forth, forwards
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  • 3(of an event) taking place or being presented.

    ‘what's on at the May Festival’
    ‘there's a good film on this afternoon’
    • ‘I wonder what's on at the movies tonight.’
    • ‘The exhibition is on until September 17.’
    • ‘There's a war on, and everybody has to make sacrifices.’
    • ‘The City Theatre has a new play on.’
    • ‘The same problem always happens when the fair is on.’
    • ‘The exhibition ‘Accessories from the Royal Wardrobe’ is on at Kensington Palace State Apartments until April 18 2004.’
    • ‘He flipped through the channels and couldn't find anything good on.’
    • ‘Turner, Whistler and Monet is on at Tate Britain until the 15th of May, tickets are £10.’
    • ‘The opera festival was on and that helped to create good passing trade.’
    • ‘Ms Rushton's review of Hicks' artwork, which is on at Abbot Hall until March 9, was entitled A Festival of Sculpture, Drawing and Light.’
    • ‘For younger theatre-goers, Goldilocks and the Three Bears will be on at St George's Hall.’
    1. 3.1 Due to take place as planned.
      ‘the match is still on’
      • ‘Our carnival is definitely still on!’
      • ‘Ok guys, the party's on!’
      • ‘I thought you cancelled? Is it on or what?’
      • ‘Every time I try and go to a pub quiz, it's not on for some reason.’
      • ‘They decided not to have an election. Now it's on again.’
      • ‘Are we still on for that drink in July?’
  • 4(of an electrical appliance or power supply) functioning.

    ‘they always left the lights on’
    • ‘In Cleveland, the power is on, but residents are asked to boil their drinking water.’
    • ‘I need an appliance which is not expensive to run, and which can be switched on and off as needed.’
    • ‘Soon more and more houses will have their electricity on, and life will get back to normal.’
    • ‘There is no movement other than a slight change in the shadows as some neon sign far below flicks on and off.’
    • ‘Parents often keep the television on while feeding, dressing, or playing with their children.’
    • ‘Food in a refrigerator stays fresh while the power is on, but turns into a disorderly mess if there is no energy being supplied from the mains.’
    • ‘The tape player sat on the floor of my bedsit in Bromley, and I used to turn it on and off with my foot.’
    • ‘He'd also became fond of switching lights on and off to the point where it was almost an obsession.’
    • ‘My dad turned the radio on and proceeded to restlessly channel-surf.’
    • ‘The chef had forgotten to put the oven on.’
    • ‘By the time the game ended, the lights were on at Fullcast Stadium and the bright sun had dipped behind some clouds.’
    • ‘From time to time the lights go on and off in the auditorium, while the actors continue to perform.’
    • ‘He asks whether he should spend his time between fog patches switching his lights on and off.’
    • ‘He doesn't know how to turn on the washing machine.’
    functioning, in operation, working, in use, operating
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  • 5(of a performer) on stage.

    • ‘She is on for the first 19 minutes of the show.’
    • ‘Each time she was to perform, Lynn suffered such dread that she was always too sick to go on.’
    • ‘That's your cue. You're on.’
    • ‘Come on girls, you are on in five minutes.’
    • ‘His understudy had to go on for Act II.’
    • ‘I was thinking I might get bored then the lead actor came on.’
    1. 5.1 (of an employee) working; on duty.
      • ‘Abby explains she's on all day as a medical student.’
      • ‘My Nurse Manager mailed me my schedule and I'm on every Saturday.’
      • ‘I took midnight to 4am and he was on until 8am.’
      • ‘I'm on until we close, probably around four in the morning if the crowd keeps up like this.’
      • ‘This past weekend was my weekend on, so I really couldn't get away from work properly.’