Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “go on”

See all translations

go on

verb uk phrasal verb with go   /ɡəʊ/ us    /ɡoʊ/ ( present participle going, past tense went, past participle gone)

(HAPPEN)

B1 to happen: I'm sure we never hear about a lot of what goes on in government. This war has been going on for years.
More examples

(CONTINUE)

B1 to continue or move to the next thing: Please go on with what you're doing and don't let us interrupt you. [+ -ing verb] We really can't go on living like this - we'll have to find a bigger house. [+ to infinitive] She admitted her company's responsibility for the disaster and went on to explain how compensation would be paid to the victims. What proportion of people who are HIV-positive go on to develop (= later develop) AIDS? If you go on (= continue behaving) like this you won't have any friends left at all.
More examples

(OPERATE)

to start operating: The spotlights go on automatically when an intruder is detected in the garden. When does the heating go on?
More examples

(TALK AGAIN)

B2 to start talking again after a pause: She paused to light another cigarette and then went on with her account of the accident. [+ speech] "What I want more than anything else," he went on, "is a house in the country with a large garden for the children to play in." informal something that you say to encourage someone to say or do something: Go on, what happened next?
More examples

(TALK A LOT)

C2 UK to talk in an annoying way about something for a long time: I just wish he'd stop going on about how brilliant his daughter is." "Yes, he does go on (a bit), doesn't he?" I wish you'd stop going on at (= criticizing repeatedly) me about my haircut.
More examples

(PLEASE DO)

used when encouraging or asking someone to do something: Go on, have another drink. "I don't really feel like seeing a film tonight." "Oh go on. We haven't been to the cinema for ages."
More examples

(AGREE)

informal something that you say in order to agree to do or allow something that you did not want to do or to allow before: "Are you sure you don't want another slice of cake?" "Oh go on then, but just a small one."

(TIME)

to continue or pass: Tomorrow will start cold but it should get warmer as the day goes on. As the evening went on it became clear that we should never have agreed to see each other again.

(NOT BELIEVE)

go on! mainly UK old-fashioned used when you do not believe someone
(Definition of go on from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of go on?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“go on” in English

    Definitions of “go on” in other dictionaries

    Word of the Day

    hard luck story

    a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about himself or herself, intended to make you feel feel sympathy for that person

    Word of the Day

    A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

    by Liz Walter,
    January 21, 2015
    It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

    Read More 

    micro pig noun

    January 26, 2015
    an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

    Read More