From Middle English upon, uppon, uppen, from Old English upon, uppon, uppan (“on, upon, up to, against, after, in addition to”), equivalent to up (“adverb”) + on (“preposition”). Cognate with Icelandic upp á, upp á (“up on, upon”), Swedish på (“up on, upon”), Danish på (“up on, upon”), Norwegian på (“up on, upon”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈpɒn/
- (General American) IPA(key): /əˈpɑn/, /əˈpɔn/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: up‧on
- Rhymes: -ɒn
- Physically above and in contact with.
- Place the book upon the table.
- Physically directly supported by.
- The crew set sail upon the sea.
- She balanced upon one foot.
- Being followed by another so as to form a series.
- hours upon hours, years upon years, mile upon mile of desert
- 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 1
- No news of them? Why, so: and I know not what's spend in the search: why thou loss upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge: nor no ill luck stirring but what lights on my shoulders; no sighs but of my breathing; no tears but of my shedding.
- At (a prescribed point in time).
- The contract was rendered void upon his death.
A somewhat elevated word, upon is common in poetic or legal contexts, but the simpler, more general term on is generally interchangeable, and more common in casual American speech.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
upon (not comparable)
- Being the target of an action.
- He was set upon by the agitated dogs