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On, prepos. denoting the being in, or coming into, contact with the surface of a thing: “why not lips on lips?” Ven. 120. “dance on the sands,” Ven. 120 “on mountain or in dale,” Ven. 120 “graze on my lips,” Ven. 120 “a proud rider on so proud a back,” Ven. 120 “fairest mover on this mortal round,” Ven. 120 “on the grass she lies,” Ven. 120 “strikes her on the cheeks,” Ven. 120 “trodden on by many,” Ven. 707. “on just proof surmise accumulate,” Sonn. 117, 10. “to ride on the curled clouds,” Tp. I, 2, 192. “now on the beak,” Tp. I, 2, 192 Tp. I, 2, 192 “on their garments not a blemish,” Tp. I, 2, 192 “sitting on a bank,” Tp. I, 2, 192 “our search on land,” III, 3, 10. IV, 73. Gent. I, 1, 158. IV, 4, 35. Err. II, 2, 166. Mids. III, 2, 205. LLL V, 2, 9. Mcb. II, 1, 46. Oth. II, 3, 216 etc. etc. “his falchion on a flint he smiteth,” Lucr. 176. “set a mark so bloody on the business,” Tp. I, 2, 142. “wicked dew drop on you both,” Tp. I, 2, 142 “all the charms of Sycorax light on you,” Tp. I, 2, 142 to fall it (your hand) “on Gonzalo,” II, 1, 296. “all the infections . . . on Prosper fall,” II, 2, 2. “to belch you on this island,” III, 3, 56. “mount on my swiftest horse,” H6A IV, 5, 9. “thou camest on earth to make the earth my hell,” R3 IV, 4, 166 etc. This primary sense traceable in the phrases to play on an instrument (f. i. on a lute; and hence also on pipes of corn, Mids. II, 1, 67), on fire (Ven. 388. H4A IV, 1, 117), on high (Ven. 854), kiss on kiss, passion on passion, and the like (Ven. 832. Shr. II, 310. H4A IV, 3, 101. H6B III, 1, 337); no less in curses or blessings called down over a person: “mercy on us!” Tp. I, 1, 64 (cf. “justice on the doers!” All's V, 3, 154). “heavens rain grace on that which breeds between 'em,” III, 1, 76. “a murrain on your monster,” III, 2, 88. “Juno sings her blessings on you,” IV, 109. “Ceres' blessing so is on you,” IV, 109 “out on thy mistress,” Err. II, 1, 68. “so will you wish on me,” Lr. II, 4, 171. etc.
Denoting not only a contact with the upper surface, but with any part of sth.: “on his neck her arms she throws,” Ven. 592. “set this bateless edge on his keen appetite,” Lucr. 9. “as a nose on a man's face,” Gent. II, 1, 142. “a codpiece to stick pins on,” II, 7, 56. “lest he catch cold on's feet,” Err. III, 1, 37. “on either hand,” H6A IV, 2, 23 (cf. Hand). “with a palsy fumbling on his gorget,” Troil. I, 3, 174. “this found I on my tent,” R3 V, 3, 303 (attached to it) etc. Hence used of articles of dress covering the body or part of it, (f. i. “put my tires and mantles on him,” Ant. II, 5, 22), and metaphorically: “what do I see on thee!” Mids. III, 1, 118. “the king hath on him such a countenance,” Wint. I, 2, 368. “I have tremor cordis on me,” Wint. I, 2, 368 “you that have so fair parts of woman on you,” H8 II, 3, 27. “signs of nobleness shall shine on all deservers,” Mcb. I, 4, 42. “some marks of secret on her person,” Cymb. V, 5, 206. cf. the verbs Bestow, Confer, Estate, Cast, Throw away etc.
Placed before that by which a thing is supported: “the bridle on a ragged bough she fastens,” Ven. 37. “leaning on their elbows,” Ven. 37 stand on end, 272 (on foot, see sub “Foot). hang not on my garments,” Tp. I, 2, 474. “tripping on his toe,” IV, 46. “hang them on this line,” IV, 46 “the blossom that hangs on the bough,” V, 94. “any model to build mischief on,” Ado I, 3, 49. “down on your knees,” As III, 5, 57. “grovel on thy face,” H6B I, 2, 9. “hang him on this tree,” Tit. V, 1, 47. “on their knees and hands,” Tim. I, 1, 87 etc. Metaphorically: “as one relying on your lordship's will and not depending on his friendly wish,” Gent. I, 3, 61. “in these times you stand on distance,” Wiv. II, 1, 233. “I charge thee on thy duty,” Ado I, 1, 210. “I stay here on my bond,” Merch. IV, 1, 242. “and took it on his death that this my mother's son was none of his,” John I, 110. “it lies you on to speak,” Cor. III, 2, 52 (cf. the respective verbs). In asseverations and obsecrations: “on mine honour,” Tp. III, 2, 123. Meas. II, 4, 147. Ado V, 1, 104. “on your souls,” Ado IV, 1, 14. Ado IV, 1, 14 John V, 1, 43. “on his blessing,” As I, 1, 4. “on my life,” I, 2, 294. “on height of our displeasure,” Tim. III, 5, 87. “on thine allegiance,” Lr. I, 1, 170. “on thy love,” Oth. II, 3, 178. Similarly in betting: “five shillings to one on't,” Ado III, 3, 84. “my soul and body on the action,” H6B V, 2, 26. “mine honour on my promise,” Tim. I, 1, 148. “I had put my estate on the approbation,” Cymb. I, 4, 134. Before condition: “let me know my fault: on what condition stands it?” R2 II, 3, 107; by which passage perhaps the following may be explained: “intended or committed was thy fault? if on the first,” V, 3, 34 (== if it stands on the first condition).
Hence denoting the ground or occasion of any thing done: “what following sorrow may on this arise,” Lucr. 186. “to be revenged on her death,” Lucr. 186 “on better judgment making,” Sonn. 87, 12. “to leave her on such slight conditions,” Gent. V, 4, 138. “he arrests him on it,” Meas. I, 4, 66. “shall you on your knowledge find this way?” IV, 1, 37. “he is your husband on a pre-contract,” IV, 1, 37 “was he arrested on a band?” Err. IV, 2, 49. “on this travail look for greater birth,” Ado IV, 1, 215. “on pain of losing her tongue,” LLL I, 1, 123. “she must lie here on mere necessity,” LLL I, 1, 123 “I shall do it on a full stomach,” I, 2, 154. “and not demands, on payment of a hundred thousand crowns, to have his title live in Aquitaine,” II, 145. “that on so little acquaintance you should like her,” As V, 2, 1. “not fearing the displeasure of your master, which on your just proceeding I'll keep off,” All's V, 3, 236. “on a moderate pace I have since arrived but hither,” Tw. II, 2, 3. “on her frights and griefs she is before her time delivered,” Wint. II, 2, 23. “on the sight of us . . . the French vouchsafe a parle,” John II, 222. “killed on your suggestion,” IV, 2, 166. “on constraint,” V, 1, 28. “on ancient malice,” R2 I, 1, 9. “on some apparent danger seen in him,” R2 I, 1, 9 “find pardon on my true submission,” H4A III, 2, 28. “a thing to thank God on,” III, 3, 134. “little faults, proceeding on distemper,” H5 II, 2, 54. “my duty to you both, on equal love,” V, 2, 23. “on pure heart's love,” R3 IV, 1, 4. “my conscience received a scruple and prick on certain speeches,” H8 II, 4, 171. “and on a safer judgment all revoke your ignorant election,” Cor. II, 3, 226. “on safeguard he came to me,” III, 1, 9. “shall on a dissension of a doit break out to bitterest enmity,” IV, 4, 17. “hanged himself on the expectation of plenty,” Mcb. II, 3, 5. “lest more mischance, on plots and errors, happen,” Hml. V, 2, 406. I'd shake it (your beard) “on this quarrel,” Lr. III, 7, 77. “did on my free will,” Ant. III, 6, 57. “would obey it on all cause,” III, 11, 68. “he alone dealt on lieutenantry,” III, 11, 68 “think what a chance thou changest on,” Cymb. I, 5, 68. “letting them thrive again on their abatement,” V, 4, 21. cf. the articles Compulsion, Condition, Instinct, Necessity (Lr. I, 2, 132), Purpose etc.
Hence the temporal use: “on the first view to swear, I love thee,” Mids. III, 1, 144. “the year growing ancient, not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth of trembling winter,” Wint. IV, 4, 80. “on thinking on no though I think,” R2 II, 2, 31. “on the winking of authority to understand a law,” John IV, 2, 211. “we will answer on their charge,” Caes. V, 1, 24. “on a day,” Pilgr. 227. “one meal on every day,” LLL I, 1, 40. “on Saturday,” IV, 1, 6. Ado V, 1, 169. Mids. I, 2, 7. Merch. I, 3, 127. II, 5, 25. Wint. III, 3, 143. “how's the day? On the sixth hour,” Tp. V, 4. “ne'er may I look on day, nor sleep on night,” Err. V, 210. “on to-morrow,” H5 III, 6, 181. “on the moment,” Tim. I, 1, 79. “on the present,” Tim. I, 1, 79 “on the instant,” Oth. I, 2, 38. “on a trice,” Tp. V, 238. “on the sudden,” Ven. 749. H8 IV, 2, 96 etc.
Used to indicate the direction given to an action (cf. Frown, Gaze, Look, Smile etc.): “blushing on her,” Lucr. 1339. “the eastern gate opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,” Mids. III, 2, 392. “gives all gaze and bent of amorous view on the fair Cressid,” Troil. IV, 5, 283. “if Caesar nod on him,” Caes. I, 2, 118. “these are portents, but yet I hope, they do not point on me,” Oth. V, 2, 46. “my writ is on the life of Lear,” Lr. V, 3, 246; cf. “the star-gazers, having writ on death,” Ven. 509 etc. Often in a hostile sense: “on the lion he will venture,” Ven. 628. “rush on his host,” H5 III, 5, 50. “turn on the bloody hounds,” H6A IV, 2, 51. “flew on him,” Lr. IV, 2, 76. “I did draw on him,” Err. V, 43. Mids. III, 2, 411. Lr. II, 2, 131. “they are almost on him,” Caes. V, 3, 30. “do execution on the watch,” H6A III, 2, 35. “shuts the gate on us,” Err. V, 156. Tit. V, 3, 105. “exclaims on death,” Ven. 930. “I railed on thee,” Ven. 930 (cf. Grow). And generally denoting that with respect to which, or by means of which, something is done: “tires with her beak on feathers,” Ven. 56. “be wreaked on him,” Ven. 56 “revenge it on him,” Tp. III, 2, 62. “the foul boar's conquest on her fair delight,” Ven. 1030. “on this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes,” Lucr. 1457. “that they may work all exercise on thee,” Tp. I, 2, 328. “hath made his meal on thee,” II, 1, 113; “we'll browze on that,” Cymb. III, 6, 38; “half dined on the gentleman,” Wint. III, 3, 108; “have we eaten on the insane root?” Mcb. I, 3, 84; “thou existest on many a thousand grains,” Meas. III, 1, 20; “to feed on such sweet honey,” Gent. I, 2, 106; II, 1, 179; “live on thy confusion,” Err. II, 2, 182; LLL V, 1, 41; “to prey on nothing,” As IV, 3, 119; “sip on a cup with the proudest,” Wiv. II, 2, 77; Hml. IV, 7, 161. “that you might kill your stomach on your meat,” Gent. I, 2, 68. “I'll have mine action of battery on thee,” Meas. II, 1, 188. “who can do good on him?” IV, 2, 71; Rom. IV, 2, 13. “I'll prove it on his body,” Ado V, 1, 74; “to prove on Mowbray that he is a traitor,” R2 I, 3, 38; “on him, on you, I will maintain my honour,” Lr. V, 3, 100. “I'll die on him that says so,” Gent. II, 4, 114. “this civil war of wits were much better used on Navarre,” LLL II, 227. “to perish on my sword,” Mids. II, 2, 107 (1, 244); “to die on Brutus' sword,” Caes. V, 1, 58; “stain all your edges on me,” Cor. V, 6, 113; Mcb. V, 8, 2. “if he do not mightily grace himself on thee,” As I, 1, 156. “have I commandment on the pulse of life?” John IV, 2, 92; “the power that I have on you is to spare you,” Cymb. V, 5, 418. “the scourge of greatness to be used on it,” H4A I, 3, 11. “I will redeem all this on Percy's head,” III, 2, 132. “blood will I draw on thee,” H6A I, 5, 6; “some blood drawn on me,” Lr. II, 1, 35. “on us thou canst not enter but by death,” H6A IV, 2, 18. “never attempt any thing on him,” H8 III, 2, 18. “the spoil got on the Antiates,” Cor. III, 3, 4. “given hostile strokes on the ministers of state,” Cor. III, 3, 4 “let them satisfy their lust on thee,” Tit. II, 3, 180. “a deed of death done on the innocent,” III, 2, 56. “I begot him on the empress,” V, 1, 87. “do on them some violent death,” V, 2, 108. “on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart,” V, 2, 108 “see justice done on Aaron,” V, 3, 201. “did violence on herself,” Rom. V, 3, 264. “hath done this deed on Caesar,” Caes. III, 1, 172. “by the verities on thee made good,” Mcb. III, 1, 8. “so will you wish on me,” Lr. II, 4, 172. III, 7, 82. “what art thou that hast this fortune on me?” V, 3, 165. “hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance on most part of their fleet,” Oth. II, 1, 24. “begot upon itself, born on itself,” III, 4, 162. “what his rage can do on me,” Cymb. I, 1, 88. “I will try the forces of thy compounds on such creatures,” I, 5, 19. “show thy spite on mortal flies,” V, 4, 31 (cf. Attend, Call, Dote, Seize, Wait etc. etc.).
Denoting the design or business in which a person is employed: “the message I am sent on,” Gent IV, 4, 117. “on what submissive message art thou sent?” H6A IV, 7, 53. “the daughter of the King of France, on serious business, craving quick dispatch, importunes personal conference,” LLL II, 31. “I shall raise you on business,” Caes. IV, 3, 248. “on a forgotten matter we can hardly make distinction of our hands,” Tw. II, 3, 174. “I'll hence to London on a serious matter,” H6C V, 5, 47. Lr. IV, 5, 8. “hither sent on the debating of a marriage,” H8 II, 4, 173. “my mind's not on't,” V, 1, 57. “when my fancy's on my play,” V, 1, 57 “on whose employment I was sent to you,” Lr. II, 2, 136. “went to Jewry on affairs of Antony,” Ant. IV, 6, 12. Peculiar use: “on a love-book pray for my success,” Gent. I, 1, 19 (as love-books will be your reading instead of prayer-books). “read on this book,” Hml. III, 1, 44. “created both one flower, both on one sampler,” Mids. III, 2, 205. “here comes the towns-men on procession,” H6B II, 1, 68 (== engaged in making a procession). to set on == to cause to begin: “a bell, once set on ringing, with his own weight goes,” Lucr. 1494 (== set a ringing). “set the table on a roar,” Hml. V, 1, 211.
After expressions of thought and speech, == of, about: “haply I think on thee,” Sonn. 29, 10. 149, 3. Gent. I, 1, 12. H6B III, 1, 338. R3 IV, 2, 125. “dream on evil,” Lucr. 87. Gent. II, 4, 172. Ado IV, 1, 214. “complain on theft,” Ven. 160. Ven. 160 “censure thus on lovely gentlemen,” Gent. I, 2, 19. “say what the play treats on,” Mids. I, 2, 9. “as near as I could sift him on that argument,” R2 I, 1, 12. “your exposition on the holy text,” H4B IV, 2, 7. “I wonder on't,” Tim. III, 4, 10. “I am resolved on two points,” Tw. I, 5, 24 etc.
Confounded with of: “to take advantage on presented joy,” Ven. 405. “such stuff as dreams are made on,” Tp. IV, 157. “many thousand on's,” Wint. I, 2, 206. “to break the pate on thee,” H4A II, 1, 33 (Ff of). “the master-cord on's heart,” H8 III, 2, 106. “unless Apollo get his sinews to make catlings on,” Troil. III, 3, 306. “will he swagger himself out on's own eyes,” V, 2, 136. “one on's father's moods,” Cor. I, 3, 72. “at very root on's heart,” II, 1, 202. “one on's ears,” II, 2, 85. “worth six on him,” IV, 5, 174 (cf. H4B II, 4, 237). “he is so made on here,” H4B II, 4, 237 “be not jealous on me,” Caes. I, 2, 71. “i' the very throat on me,” Mcb. II, 3, 43. “all those his lands which he stood seized on,” Hml. I, 1, 88 (Qq of). “God ha' mercy on his soul, and of all Christian souls,” IV, 5, 199. “two on's daughters,” Lr. I, 4, 114. “stands i' the middle on's face,” I, 5, 20. “here's three on's are sophisticated,” III, 4, 110. “the rest on's body,” III, 4, 110 “born on itself,” Oth. III, 4, 162. “that we have made so much on,” Cymb. IV, 2, 198. “two on's,” V, 5, 311 (cf. Fond, Amorous, Enamoured). Very often on't for “of it:” Tp. I, 2, 87. Tp. I, 2, 87 Tp. I, 2, 87 II, 1, 127. II, 1, 127 II, 1, 127 IV, 248. V, 162. Wiv. III, 4, 24. V, 5, 191. Meas. II, 2, 132. Ado III, 4, 23. LLL V, 2, 460. All's I, 3, 142. Tw. V, 202. Wint. II, 1, 169. II, 2, 31. II, 3, 15. III, 1, 14. IV, 4, 5. H4B IV, 3, 53 (Ff of it). H8 II, 3, 102. V, 3, 109. Cor. I, 1, 229. III, 1, 152. Tim. I, 2, 33. III, 2, 19. Caes. I, 3, 137. Hml. V, 1, 133. Lr. IV, 1, 52. Cymb. IV, 2, 297. V, 2, 3 etc. etc.
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