Meaning of ON in English

ON

I. ˈȯn, ˈän preposition

Etymology: Middle English an, on, preposition & adverb, from Old English; akin to Old High German ana on, Greek ana up, on

Date: before 12th century

1.

a. — used as a function word to indicate position in contact with and supported by the top surface of

the book is lying on the table

b. — used as a function word to indicate position in or in contact with an outer surface

the fly landed on the ceiling

I have a cut on my finger

paint on the wall

c. — used as a function word to indicate position in close proximity with

a village on the sea

stay on your opponent

d. — used as a function word to indicate the location of something

on the left

on the south side of the house

on the farm

2.

a. — used as a function word to indicate a source of attachment or support

on a string

stand on one foot

hang it on a nail

b. — used as a function word to indicate a source of dependence

you can rely on me

feeds on insects

lives on a pension

c. — used as a function word to indicate means of conveyance

on the bus

d. — used as a function word to indicate presence in the possession of

had a knife on him

3. — used as a function word to indicate a time frame during which something takes place

a parade on Sunday

or an instant, action, or occurrence when something begins or is done

on cue

on arriving home, I found your letter

news on the hour

cash on delivery

4. archaic : of

5.

a. — used as a function word to indicate manner of doing something; often used with the

on the sly

keep everything on the up-and-up

b. — used as a function word to indicate means or agency

cut myself on a knife

talk on the telephone

c. — used as a function word to indicate a medium of expression

on stage

best show on television

6.

a.

(1) — used as a function word to indicate active involvement in a condition or status

on the increase

on the lookout

(2) : regularly using or showing the effects of using

on drugs

b. — used as a function word to indicate involvement or participation

on tour

on the team

on duty

c. — used as a function word to indicate inclusion

put it on the agenda

d. — used as a function word to indicate position or status in proper relationship with a standard or objective

on schedule

7.

a. — used as a function word to indicate reason, ground, or basis (as for an action, opinion, or computation)

I have it on good authority

on one condition

the interest will be 10 cents on the dollar

b. — used as a function word to indicate the cause or source

profited on the sale of stock

c. — used as a function word to indicate the focus of obligation or responsibility

drinks are on the house

put the blame on me

8.

a. — used as a function word to indicate the object of collision, opposition, or hostile action

bumped my head on a limb

an attack on religion

pulled a gun on me

b. — used as a function word to indicate the object with respect to some disadvantage, handicap, or detriment

has three inches in height on me

a 3-game lead on the second-place team

the joke's on me

9.

a. — used as a function word to indicate destination or the focus of some action, movement, or directed effort

crept up on him

feast your eyes on this

working on my skiing

made a payment on the loan

b. — used as a function word to indicate the focus of feelings, determination, or will

have pity on me

keen on sports

a curse on you

c. — used as a function word to indicate the object with respect to some misfortune or disadvantageous event

the crops died on them

d. — used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or consideration

a book on insects

reflect on that a moment

agree on price

e. : with respect to

go light on the salt

short on cash

10. — used as a function word to indicate reduplication or succession in a series

loss on loss

II. adverb

Date: before 12th century

1.

a. : in or into a position of contact with an upper surface especially so as to be positioned for use or operation

put the plates on

b. : in or into a position of being attached to or covering a surface ; especially : in or into the condition of being worn

put his new shoes on

2.

a. : forward or at a more advanced point in space or time

went on home

later on

b. : in continuance or succession

rambled on

and so on

3. : into operation or a position permitting operation

switched the light on

III. adjective

Date: circa 1541

1. : engaged in an activity or function (as a dramatic role)

2.

a.

(1) : being in operation

the radio is on

(2) : placed so as to permit operation

the switch is on

b. : taking place or being broadcast

the game is on

3. : aware of something — usually used with to

my boss was on to me

4. : intended , planned

has nothing on for tonight

5. British : talking or harping incessantly — used with about

6. chiefly British : regarded as possible or feasible — usually used in negative constructions

7.

a. : engaged in or as if in a performance

the comedian was always on

b. : being at a high level of performance

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.