VS.

# On vs. In

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In the state of being active, functioning or operating.

Inpreposition

Used to indicate location, inclusion, or position within spatial, temporal or other limits.

Performing according to schedule.

‘Are we still on for tonight?’; ‘Is the show still on?’;

Inpreposition

Contained by.

‘The dog is in the kennel.’;

Acceptable, appropriate.

‘You can't do that; it's just not on.’;

Inpreposition

Within.

(informal) Destined, normally in the context of a challenge being accepted; involved, doomed.

‘"Five bucks says the Cavs win tonight." ―"You're on!"’; ‘Mike just threw coffee onto Paul's lap. It's on now.’;

Inpreposition

Surrounded by.

‘We are in the enemy camp.’; ‘Her plane is in the air.’;

Having reached a base as a runner and being positioned there, awaiting further action from a subsequent batter.

Inpreposition

Part of; a member of.

‘One in a million.’; ‘She's in band and orchestra.’;

(euphemistic) Menstruating.

Inpreposition

Pertaining to; with regard to.

‘What grade did he get in English?’; ‘Military letters should be formal in tone, but not stilted.’;

To an operating state.

‘turn the television on’;

Inpreposition

At the end of a period of time.

‘They said they would call us in a week.’;

Along, forwards (continuing an action).

‘drive on, rock on’;

Inpreposition

Within a certain elapsed time

‘Are you able to finish this in three hours?’; ‘The massacre resulted in over 1000 deaths in three hours.’;

In continuation, at length.

‘and so on.’; ‘He rambled on and on.’;

Inpreposition

During (said of periods of time).

‘in the first week of December;’; ‘Easter falls in the fourth lunar month;’; ‘The country reached a high level of prosperity in his first term.’;

(cricket) In, or towards the half of the field on the same side as the batsman's legs; the left side for a right-handed batsman; leg. en

Inpreposition

Coming at the end of a word.

‘English nouns in -ce form their plurals in -s.’;

(obsolete in the US) Later.

‘Ten years on, nothing had changed in the village.’;

Inpreposition

Into.

‘Less water gets in your boots this way.’;

Of betting odds, denoting a better than even chance. See also odds-on.

‘That horse is at twenty-to-one on, so you need to stake twenty pounds just to win one pound.''’;

Inpreposition

Used to indicate limit, qualification, condition, or circumstance.

‘In replacing the faucet washers, he felt he was making his contribution to the environment.’;

Onpreposition

Positioned at the upper surface of, touching from above.

‘on the table;’; ‘on the couch’; ‘The parrot was sitting on Jim's shoulder.’;

Inpreposition

Indicating an order or arrangement.

‘My fat rolls around in folds.’;

Onpreposition

‘Soon we'll pass a statue on the left.’; ‘The fleet is on the American coast.’; ‘Croton-on-Hudson, Rostov-on-Don, Southend-on-Sea’;

Inpreposition

Denoting a state of the subject.

‘He stalked away in anger.’; ‘John is in a coma.’;

Onpreposition

Covering.

‘He wore old shoes on his feet.’;

Inpreposition

Indicates, connotatively, a place-like form of someone's (or something's) personality, as his, her or its psychic and physical characteristics.

‘You've got a friend in me.’; ‘He's met his match in her.’;

Onpreposition

At the date of.

‘Born on the 4th of July.’;

Inpreposition

Wearing (an item of clothing).

‘I glanced over at the pretty girl in the red dress.’;

Onpreposition

Some time during the day of.

‘I'll see you on Monday.’; ‘The bus leaves on Friday.’; ‘Can I see you on a different day? On Sunday I'm busy.’;

Inpreposition

Used to indicate means, medium, format, genre, or instrumentality.

Onpreposition

Dealing with the subject of, about, or concerning something.

‘A book on history.’; ‘The World Summit on the Information Society.’;

Inpreposition

(of something offered or given in an exchange) In the form of, in the denomination of.

‘Please pay me in cash — preferably in tens and twenties.’; ‘The deposit can be in any legal tender, even in gold.’; ‘Her generosity was rewarded in the success of its recipients.’;

Onpreposition

Touching; hanging from.

‘The fruit ripened on the trees.’; ‘The painting hangs on the wall.’;

Inpreposition

Used to indicate a language, script, tone, etc. of a text, speech, etc.

‘Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5" in C minor is among his most popular.’; ‘His speech was in French, but was simultaneously translated into eight languages.’; ‘When you write in cursive, it's illegible.’;

Onpreposition

(informal) In the possession of.

‘I haven't got any money on me.’;

Inverb

To enclose.

Onpreposition

Because of, or due to.

‘To arrest someone on suspicion of bribery.’; ‘To contact someone on a hunch.’;

Inverb

To take in; to harvest.

Onpreposition

Upon; at the time of (and often because of).

‘On Jack's entry, William got up to leave.’; ‘On the addition of ammonia, a chemical reaction begins.’;

(not comparable) Located indoors, especially at home or the office, or inside something.

‘Is Mr. Smith in?’;

Onpreposition

Paid for by.

‘The drinks are on me tonight, boys.’; ‘The meal is on the house.’; ‘I paid for the airfare and meals for my family, but the hotel room was on the company.’;

Moving to the interior of a defined space, such as a building or room.

‘Suddenly a strange man walked in.’;

Onpreposition

Used to indicate a means or medium.

‘I saw it on television.’; ‘Can't you see I'm on the phone?’;

(sports) Still eligible to play, e.g. able to bat in cricket and baseball.

‘He went for the wild toss but wasn't able to stay in.’;

Onpreposition

Indicating a means of subsistence.

‘They lived on ten dollars a week.’; ‘The dog survived three weeks on rainwater.’;

(UK) Abbreviation of in aid of.

‘What's that in?’;

Onpreposition

Away or occupied with (e.g. a scheduled activity).

‘He's on his lunch break.’; ‘on vacation;’; ‘on holiday’;

After the beginning of something.

Onpreposition

Denoting performance or action by contact with the surface, upper part, or outside of anything; hence, by means of; with.

‘to play on a violin or piano’; ‘Her words made a lasting impression on my mind.’;

Innoun

A position of power or a way to get it.

‘His parents got him an in with the company’;

Onpreposition

Regularly taking (a drug).

‘You've been on these antidepressants far too long.’; ‘He's acting so strangely, I think he must be on something.’;

Innoun

(sport) The state of a batter/batsman who is currently batting – see innings

Onpreposition

Under the influence of (a drug).

‘He's acting crazy because he's on crack right now.’;

Innoun

A re-entrant angle; a nook or corner.

Onpreposition

(mathematics) Having identical domain and codomain.

‘a function on’;

Innoun

abbreviation of inch

Onpreposition

(mathematics) Having $V^n$ as domain and V as codomain, for some set V and integer n.

‘an operator on’;

In fashion; popular.

‘Skirts are in this year.’;

Onpreposition

(mathematics) Generated by.

‘the free group on four letters’;

Incoming.

‘the in train’;

Onpreposition

Supported by (the specified part of itself).

‘A table can't stand on two legs.’; ‘After resting on his elbows, he stood on his toes, then walked on his heels.’;

Furled or stowed.

Onpreposition

At a given time after the start of something; at.

(legal) With privilege or possession; used to denote a holding, possession, or seisin.

‘in by descent; in by purchase; in of the seisin of her husband’;

Onpreposition

In addition to; besides; indicating multiplication or succession in a series.

‘heaps on heaps of food’; ‘mischief on mischief; loss on loss’;

(cricket) Currently batting.

Onpreposition

of

Having familiarity or involvement with somebody.

Onpreposition

Indicating dependence or reliance; with confidence in.

‘I depended on them for assistance.’; ‘He will promise on certain conditions.’; ‘Do you ever bet on horses?’;

Inpreposition

The specific signification of in is situation or place with respect to surrounding, environment, encompassment, etc. It is used with verbs signifying being, resting, or moving within limits, or within circumstances or conditions of any kind conceived of as limiting, confining, or investing, either wholly or in part. In its different applications, it approaches some of the meanings of, and sometimes is interchangeable with, within, into, on, at, of, and among.

Onpreposition

Toward; for; indicating the object of an emotion.

‘Have pity or compassion on him.’;

Inpreposition

With reference to space or place; as, he lives in Boston; he traveled in Italy; castles in the air.

‘The babe lying in a manger.’; ‘Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west.’; ‘Situated in the forty-first degree of latitude.’; ‘Matter for censure in every page.’;

Onpreposition

(obsolete) At the peril of, or for the safety of.

Inpreposition

With reference to circumstances or conditions; as, he is in difficulties; she stood in a blaze of light.

‘Wrapt in sweet sounds, as in bright veils.’;

Onpreposition

In the service of; connected with; of the number of.

‘He is on a newspaper; I am on the committee.’;

Inpreposition

With reference to a whole which includes or comprises the part spoken of; as, the first in his family; the first regiment in the army.

‘Nine in ten of those who enter the ministry.’;

Onpreposition

By virtue of; with the pledge of.

‘He affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honour.’;

Inpreposition

With reference to physical surrounding, personal states, etc., abstractly denoted; as, I am in doubt; the room is in darkness; to live in fear.

‘When shall we three meet again,In thunder, lightning, or in rain?’;

Onpreposition

To the account or detriment of; denoting imprecation or invocation, or coming to, falling, or resting upon.

‘On us be all the blame.’; ‘A curse on him!’; ‘Please don't tell on her and get her in trouble.’; ‘He turned on her and has been her enemy ever since.’; ‘He went all honest on me, making me listen to his confession.’;

Inpreposition

With reference to character, reach, scope, or influence considered as establishing a limitation; as, to be in one's favor.

‘Sounds inharmonious in themselves, and harsh.’;

Onpreposition

(especially when numbers of combatants or competitors are specified) Against; in opposition to.

Inpreposition

With reference to movement or tendency toward a certain limit or environment; - sometimes equivalent to into; as, to put seed in the ground; to fall in love; to end in death; to put our trust in God.

‘He would not plunge his brother in despair.’; ‘She had no jewels to deposit in their caskets.’;

Onpreposition

Without.

Inpreposition

With reference to a limit of time; as, in an hour; it happened in the last century; in all my life.

Onverb

to switch on

‘Can you on the light?’;

Not out; within; inside. In, the preposition, becomes an adverb by omission of its object, leaving it as the representative of an adverbial phrase, the context indicating what the omitted object is; as, he takes in the situation (i. e., he comprehends it in his mind); the Republicans were in (i. e., in office); in at one ear and out at the other (i. e., in or into the head); his side was in (i. e., in the turn at the bat); he came in (i. e., into the house).

‘Their vacation . . . falls in so pat with ours.’;

Onnoun

In the Japanese language, a pronunciation, or reading, of a kanji character that was originally based on the character's pronunciation in Chinese, contrasted with kun.

‘Most kanji have two kinds of reading, called "on" and "kun".’;

With privilege or possession; - used to denote a holding, possession, or seisin; as, in by descent; in by purchase; in of the seisin of her husband.

Onpreposition

The general signification of on is situation, motion, or condition with respect to contact or support beneath

Innoun

One who is in office; - the opposite of out.

Onpreposition

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.’;

Innoun

A reëntrant angle; a nook or corner.

‘All the ins and outs of this neighborhood.’;

Onpreposition

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.’;

Inverb

To inclose; to take in; to harvest.

‘He that ears my land spares my team and gives me leave to in the crop.’;

Onpreposition

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.

Innoun

a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot

Onpreposition

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.

Innoun

a rare soft silvery metallic element; occurs in small quantities in sphalerite

Onpreposition

In addition to; besides; - indicating multiplication or succession in a series; as, heaps on heaps; mischief on mischief; loss on loss; thought on thought.

Innoun

a state in midwestern United States

Onpreposition

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.

holding office;

‘the in party’;

Onpreposition

At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain from labor. See At (synonym).

directed or bound inward;

‘took the in bus’; ‘the in basket’;

Onpreposition

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.

currently fashionable;

‘the in thing to do’; ‘large shoulder pads are in’;

Onpreposition

Toward; for; - indicating the object of some passion; as, have pity or compassion on him.

to or toward the inside of;

‘come in’; ‘smash in the door’;

Onpreposition

At the peril of, or for the safety of.

inside an enclosed space

Onpreposition

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.

Inpreposition

expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else

‘dressed in their Sunday best’; ‘she saw the bus in the rear-view mirror’; ‘I'm living in London’;

Onpreposition

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.’;

Inpreposition

expressing motion with the result that something ends up within or surrounded by something else

‘don't put coal in the bath’; ‘he got in his car and drove off’;

Onpreposition

In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect punctuality; a satire on society.

Inpreposition

expressing a period of time during which an event happens or a situation remains the case

‘they met in 1885’; ‘I hadn't seen him in years’; ‘at one o'clock in the morning’;

Onpreposition

Of.

‘Or have we eaten on the insane rootThat takes the reason prisoner?’;

Inpreposition

expressing the length of time before a future event is expected to happen

‘I'll see you in fifteen minutes’;

Onpreposition

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.

Inpreposition

(often followed by a noun without a determiner) expressing a state or condition

‘I've got to put my affairs in order’; ‘to be in love’; ‘a woman in her thirties’;

Onpreposition

In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is on a newspaper; on a committee.

Inpreposition

indicating the quality or aspect with respect to which a judgement is made

‘no discernible difference in quality’;

Onpreposition

In reference to; about; concerning; as, to think on it; to meditate on it.

‘They have added the -en plural form on to an elder plural.’; ‘We see the strength of the new movement in the new class of ecclesiastics whom it forced on to the stage.’;

Inpreposition

expressing inclusion or involvement

‘I read it in a book’; ‘acting in a film’;

Forward, in progression; onward; - usually with a verb of motion; as, move on; go on; the beat goes on.

‘The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.’;

Inpreposition

indicating someone's occupation or profession

‘she works in publishing’;

Forward, in succession; as, from father to son, from the son to the grandson, and so on.

Inpreposition

indicating the language or medium used

‘put it in writing’; ‘say it in French’;

In continuance; without interruption or ceasing; as, sleep on, take your ease; say on; sing on.

Inpreposition

indicating the key in which a piece of music is written

‘Mozart's Piano Concerto in E flat’;

Adhering; not off; as in the phrase, "He is neither on nor off," that is, he is not steady, he is irresolute.

Inpreposition

as an integral part of (an activity)

‘in planning public expenditure it is better to be prudent’;

Attached to the body, as clothing or ornament, or for use.

‘He put on righteousness as a breastplate.’;

Inpreposition

expressing a value as a proportion of (a whole)

‘a local income tax running at six pence in the pound’;

In progress; proceeding; ongoing; as, a game is on.

expressing movement with the result that someone or something becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else

‘come in’; ‘presently the admiral breezed in’;

in operation or operational;

‘left the oven on’; ‘the switch is in the on position’;

expressing the situation of being enclosed or surrounded by something

‘we were locked in’;

(of events) planned or scheduled;

‘the picnic is on, rain or shine’; ‘we have nothing on for Friday night’;

expressing arrival

‘the train got in very late’;

performing or scheduled for duties;

‘I'm on from five to midnight’; ‘Naval personnel on duty in Alaska’; ‘her on-duty hours were 11p.m. to 7 a.m.’;

(of the tide) rising or at its highest level.

with a forward motion;

‘we drove along admiring the view’; ‘the horse trotted along at a steady pace’; ‘the circus traveled on to the next city’; ‘move along’; ‘march on’;

present at one's home or office

‘we knocked at the door but there was no one in’;

indicates continuity or persistence or concentration;

‘his spirit lives on’; ‘shall I read on?’;

fashionable

‘the in thing to do’; ‘pastels and light colours are in this year’;

in a state required for something to function or be effective;

‘turn the lights on’; ‘get a load on’;

(of the ball in tennis and similar games) landing within the designated playing area.

batting

‘which side is in?’;

Innoun

a position of influence with someone powerful or famous

‘she got an in with the promising new artist’;