Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

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.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

preposition British English pronunciation: upon /əˈpɒn/
  1. 1
    literary on or onto something

    Shadows were flickering upon the studio floor.

    He believes we were put upon this earth for a purpose.

  2. 2
    formal used after some verbs with the same meaning as 'on'

    A police patrol happened upon a robbery in a bank yesterday.

    They draw upon their experience to educate and guide new companies.

    My whole future depended upon the decision of this one manager.

  3. 3
    formal immediately after doing something or after something happens

    Barry had joined the army immediately upon leaving school.

    Upon his release, Davis went immediately to his mother's.

  4. 5
    used between two nouns that are the same for emphasizing that there is a large number of the thing that you are mentioning

    I've written to you, year upon year, and never heard from you.

    We drove across mile upon mile of wide-open space.



a face mask worn on the beach in order to protect the face from the sun

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


dirty and sometimes untidy or smelling bad

Open Dictionary


a set of photographs which show what different clothes styles look like and is used to advertise those clothes

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog