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Bible Dictionaries

King James Dictionary


ON, pre. L. in Gr. Hence they denote nearness, closeness or contiguity, and from meeting the Latin in and the English un have their power of negation or opposing.

1. Being in contact with the surface or upper part of a thing and supported by it placed or lying in contact with the surface as, my book is on the table the table stands on the floor the house rests on its foundation we lie on a bed, or stand on the earth.
2. Coming or falling to the surface of any thing as, rain falls on the earth.

Whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken.

Matthew 21 .

3. Performing or acting by contact with the surface, upper part or outside of anything as, to play on a harp, a violin, or a drum.
4. Noting addition as heaps on heaps mischief on mischief loss on loss.
5. At or near. When we say, a vessel is on shore, we mean that she is aground but when we say, a fleet on a ship is on the American coast, or an isle is situated on the coast of England, we mean only that it is near the coast. So we say, on each side stands an armed man, that is, at or near each side.

So we say, Philadelphia is situated on the Delaware Middlebury is on the Otter Creek Guilford stands on the Sound that is, near the river or Sound, instead of on the bank, side or shore.

6. It denotes resting for support as, to depend on, to rely on hence, the ground of any thing as, he will covenant on certain considerations or conditions the considerations being the support of the covenant.
7. At or in the time of as, on the sabbath we abstain from labor. We usually say, at the hour, on or in the day, in or on the week, month or year.
8. At the time of, with some reference to cause or motive. On public occasions, the officers appear in full dress or uniform.
9. It is put before the object of some passion, with the sense of towards or for. Have pity or compassion on him.
10. At the peril of, or for the safety of. Hence, on thy life.
11. Denoting a pledge or engagement, or put before the thing pledged. He affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honor.
12. Noting imprecation or invocation, or coming to, falling or resting on. On us be all the blame.

His blood be on us, and on our children. Matthew 27 .

13. In consequence of, or immediately after. On the ratification of the treaty, the armies were disbanded.
14. Noting part, distinction or opposition as on one side and on the other. On our part, expect punctuality.

On the way, on the road, denote proceeding, traveling, journeying, or making progress.

On the alert, in a state of vigilance or activity.

On high, in an elevated place sublimely.

On fire, in a state of burning or inflammation, and metaphorically, in a rage or passion.

On a sudden, suddenly.

On the wing, in flight flying metaphorically, departing.

On it, on't, is used for of it. I heard nothing on't. the gamester has a poor trade on't. This use is now vulgar.

Upon is used in the same sense with on, often with elegance, and frequently without necessity or advantage.

ON, adv.

1. Forward, in progression as, move on go on.
2. Forward, in succession. From father to son, from the son to the grandson, and so on.
3. In continuance without interruption or ceasing as, sleep on, take your ease say on sing on write on.
4. Adhering not off as in the phrase, "he is neither on nor off," that is, he is not steady he is irresolute.
5. Attached to the body as, his clothes are not on.

To put on, to attach to the body, as clothes or arms.

On, when it expresses contact with the surface of a thing, is opposed to under, off, or within, and when it expresses contact with the side of a thing, is opposed to off.

On is sometimes used as an exclamation, or rather as a command to move or proceed, some verb being understood as, cheerily on, courageous friends that is, go on, move on.

Copyright Statement
Dictionary of Words from the King James Bible. Public Domain. Copy freely.
Material presented was supplied by Brandon Staggs and was derived from the KJV Dictionary found on his website located at
The unabridged 1828 version of this dictionary in the SwordSearcher Bible Software.

Bibliography Information
Entry for 'On'. King James Dictionary.

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