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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 On prep.  The general signification of on is situation, motion, or condition with respect to contact or support beneath; as: --
 1. At, or in contact with, the surface or upper part of a thing, and supported by it; placed or lying in contact with the surface; as, the book lies on the table, which stands on the floor of a house on an island.
    I stood on the bridge at midnight.   --Longfellow.
 2. To or against the surface of; -- used to indicate the motion of a thing as coming or falling to the surface of another; as, rain falls on the earth.
    Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken.   --Matt. xxi. 44.
 3. Denoting performance or action by contact with the surface, upper part, or outside of anything; hence, by means of; with; as, to play on a violin or piano.  Hence, figuratively, to work on one's feelings; to make an impression on the mind.
 4. At or near; adjacent to; -- indicating situation, place, or position; as, on the one hand, on the other hand; the fleet is on the American coast.
 5. In addition to; besides; -- indicating multiplication or succession in a series; as, heaps on heaps; mischief on mischief; loss on loss; thought on thought.
 6. Indicating dependence or reliance; with confidence in; as, to depend on a person for assistance; to rely on; hence, indicating the ground or support of anything; as, he will promise on certain conditions; to bet on a horse; based on certain assumptions.
 7. At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain from labor. See At (synonym).
 8. At the time of; -- often conveying some notion of cause or motive; as, on public occasions, the officers appear in full dress or uniform; the shop is closed on Sundays.  Hence, in consequence of, or following; as, on the ratification of the treaty, the armies were disbanded; start on the count of three.
 9. Toward; for; -- indicating the object of some passion; as, have pity or compassion on him.
 10. At the peril of, or for the safety of. “Hence, on thy life.”
 11. By virtue of; with the pledge of; -- denoting a pledge or engagement, and put before the thing pledged; as, he affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honor.
 12. To the account of; -- denoting imprecation or invocation, or coming to, falling, or resting upon; as, on us be all the blame; a curse on him.
    His blood be on us and on our children.   --Matt. xxvii. 25.
 13. In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect punctuality; a satire on society.
 14. Of. [Obs.] “Be not jealous on me.”
 Or have we eaten on the insane root
 That takes the reason prisoner?   --Shak.
 Note:Instances of this usage are common in our older writers, and are sometimes now heard in illiterate speech.
 15. Occupied with; in the performance of; as, only three officers are on duty; on a journey; on the job; on an assignment; on a case; on the alert.
 16. In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is on a newspaper; on a committee.
 Note:On and upon are in general interchangeable.  In some applications upon is more euphonious, and is therefore to be preferred; but in most cases on is preferable.
 On a bowline. Naut. Same as Closehauled.
 On a wind, or On the wind Naut., sailing closehauled.
 On a sudden. See under Sudden.
 On board, On draught, On fire, etc. See under Board, Draught, Fire, etc.
 On it, On't, of it. [Obs. or Colloq.] --Shak.
 On shore, on land; to the shore.
 On the road, On the way, On the wing, etc. See under Road, Way, etc.
 On to, upon; on; to; -- sometimes written as one word, onto, and usually called a colloquialism; but it may be regarded in analogy with into.
    They have added the -en plural form on to an elder plural.   --Earle.
    We see the strength of the new movement in the new class of ecclesiastics whom it forced on to the stage.   --J. R. Green.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Sud·den, n. An unexpected occurrence; a surprise.
 All of a sudden, On a sudden, Of a sudden, sooner than was expected; without the usual preparation; suddenly.
    How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost!   --Milton.
    He withdrew his opposition all of a sudden.   --Thackeray.