Definition of online in English:



  • 1Controlled by or connected to a computer.

    • ‘After the thirty seconds, the system would be completely back online and the IMX network would again run for a full year.’
    • ‘Still, only thirty-one computers were online - that is connected to each other - in 1960.’
    1. 1.1 (of an activity or service) available on or performed using the Internet or other computer network.
      ‘online banking’
      • ‘Godfrey has also sued several other Internet service providers and online publications.’
      • ‘You can find more information about online education on the internet.’
      • ‘The free online service is available on the Joburg City website, under e-services.’
      • ‘They also say they are more interested in the Internet for online entertainment than other users, according to the study.’
      • ‘Also available is an online shopping service that lists recommended foods based on a person's medical history.’


  • 1While connected to a computer or under computer control.

    • ‘Moments later the flight control system came online, my HUD flickering into life.’
    • ‘Once inside, the controls came online as he flicked on a few switches.’
    • ‘Security controls had been back online as well as the little traps they planted through the space station.’
    1. 1.1 By means of the Internet or other computer network.
      ‘shoppers would rather pick up the phone than do business online’
      • ‘Exams and unit tests could be taken online over the internet.’
      • ‘The horrific nature of many of the war-related images that have appeared online have left Internet users with a range of feelings.’
      • ‘Mobile users will be able to make video calls, download pictures online or access the Internet at faster speeds via 3G technology.’
      • ‘You should also try not to bank online over a wireless network.’
      • ‘Most companies expect to be doing some business online by next year, he stated.’
      • ‘There was also the facility to order prints online by connecting to the Internet and paying online without having to go to a photo outlet.’
      • ‘Imagine being able to design and order your business card online without even having to leave your office desk.’
      • ‘We re-engineered all the forms to allow companies to conduct their regulatory business online.’
      • ‘If they did a better job and more people watched online, those networks would lose even more.’
      • ‘Smartads is dedicated to helping you expose your business online and offline.’
      • ‘This is obviously a paid for service, but we do help ensure your business is a success online.’
      • ‘Ease of use is an important characteristic when residents decide to conduct government business online.’
      • ‘Key risks in doing business online were identified as damage to reputations, fraud and intellectual property losses.’
      • ‘About 13m people bank online and internet fraud cost the banking industry more than £45m in 2003.’
      • ‘In the campaign, police used the Internet, searching online for the fugitives.’
      • ‘Intelligence analysts and operatives surf its secrets with the ease of an Internet user shopping for books online.’
      • ‘White goods are becoming increasingly popular to buy online, with internet sales now accounting for 6.6% of the market.’
      • ‘Toefel compared buying art over the Internet to buying clothes online.’
      • ‘But those of us who shop online know the internet puts an end to a lot of the frustration of shopping in the high street.’
    2. 1.2 With processing of computer data carried out simultaneously with its production.
  • 2In or into operation or existence.

    ‘the new power plant will go online this month’
    ‘the company has additional production capacity coming online later this year’
    • ‘If all goes well, Munton said construction could begin as early as September, with a fully operational plant online in about a year.’
    • ‘Now that we have reminded them, we expect it to be online shortly.’
    • ‘Air National Guard offices are expected to go online in July.’
    • ‘The new facility came online this month and expects to ramp up to full production by March.’
    • ‘The legwork has been taken out of the planning procedure by a Yorkshire council which has become one of the first authorities in Britain to put the whole process online.’