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come on - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycome on
he/she/itcomes on
present participlecoming on
past tensecame on
past participlecome on
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to develop or make progress
    How’s the building work coming on?
    come on with: She’s coming on fine with her music.
    1. a.
      to improve
      His French has really come on since last year.
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to start working by being switched on
    I saw a light come on in an upstairs window.
    1. a.
      to start to be broadcast
      We all had to be quiet when the news came on.
  3. 3
    [intransitive] to appear on a stage
    When he came on, the audience finally began to show some interest.
    1. a.
      to appear on television, or to be heard on the radio
      Then the president comes on and tells everyone to spend more money.
    2. b.
      to arrive on a sports field in order to replace another member of your team
      He came on as a substitute.
      Miller came on for Thompson in the 75th minute of the game.
  4. 4
    if something such as rain or snow comes on, it starts to fall
    it comes on to do something: It came on to rain.
  5. 5
    [intransitive] if an illness comes on, it starts to affect you
    I can feel another headache coming on.
See also main entry: come


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

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a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

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