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 American English pronunciation: upon /əˈpɑn/
  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

    His first act upon taking office was to repeal the luxury tax.

    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.


mom jeans

a style of loose-fitting jeans with a high waist, often considered unfashionable

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


Employed but with No Disposable Income or Savings: people who are in work but only earn just enough to live on

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