go on - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theygo on
he/she/itgoes on
present participlegoing on
past tensewent on
past participlegone on
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to continue happening or doing something as before

    The meeting went on a lot longer than I expected.

    We can’t go on like this any more. Things have got to change.

    go on with:

    Burton smiled and went on with his work.

    go on doing something:

    She can’t go on pretending that everything is fine when it clearly isn’t.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to happen

    I wonder what’s going on next door – they’re making a lot of noise.

  3. 3
    [transitive] go on something to start doing a particular activity or being in a particular state
    go on holiday/a cruise/trip/tour etc:

    We’re going on holiday next week.

    go on strike (=stop working as a protest):

    Workers voted by a large majority to go on strike.

    go on sale/display:

    It will go on sale this summer.

    go on a diet:

    I really must go on a diet!

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if something such as a light or an electricity supply goes on, it starts working or becomes available

    I heard the TV go on in the next room.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to talk so much that people become bored or annoyed

    You do go on, don’t you?

    go on about:

    She tends to go on about how clever her children are.

    go on and on (about something):

    He went on and on about (=talked for a long time) me being late for work again.

    1. a.
      to start talking again after a pause or interruption

      Please go on – I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

      go on with:

      He encouraged her to go on with her story.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to do something after doing something else
    go on to:

    When you finish the first section of the test, go on to the next.

    go on to do something:

    They eventually went on to win the championship.

    1. a.
      to go to another place after going somewhere
      go on to:

      After Moscow, we went on to St Petersburg for a couple of days.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] if time goes on, it passes
  8. 8
    [transitive] go on something to base an opinion or decision on something

    Since there were no witnesses, the police had little to go on.

  9. 9
    [intransitive] to go to a place before someone else who you are with

    Why don’t you go on without me?

  10. 10
    [intransitive/transitive] to walk onto a stage to begin your part in a performance

    I don’t go on until the final act.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to walk onto a sports field in order to replace a member of your team

      Owen went on in the 75th minute.

  11. 11
    go on spoken
    1. b.
      British used for saying that you do not believe what someone is telling you

      Go on! She didn’t really say that.

      go on with you! old-fashioned:

      ‘Don’t you look nice!’ ‘Oh, go on with you!’

  12. 12
    go on (the) TV/radio to decide to appear on television/radio in order to say something

    The President went on television to appeal for calm.

  13. 13
    going on (for) something almost a particular age, time, or amount

    Tina is six, going on seven.

See also main entry: go