(In addition to the uses shown below, upon is used in phrasal verbs such as `come upon' and `look upon', and after some other verbs such as `decide' and `depend'.)
1) PREP If one thing is upon another, it is on it. [FORMAL]

He set the tray upon the table...

He bent forward and laid a kiss softly upon her forehead...

I imagined the eyes of the others in the room upon me.

2) PREP: PREP -ing/n You use upon when mentioning an event that is followed immediately by another event. [FORMAL]

The door on the left, upon entering the church, leads to the Crypt of St Issac...

Upon conclusion of these studies, the patient was told that she had a severe problem.

3) PREP: n PREP n You use upon between two occurrences of the same noun in order to say that there are large numbers of the thing mentioned.

Row upon row of women surged forwards...

I looked across the mountains, ridge upon ridge.

4) PREP: PREP pron If an event is upon you, it is just about to happen.

The long-threatened storm was upon us...

The wedding season is upon us...

They had to conserve the candles now with winter upon them.

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Upon — Up*on , prep.[AS. uppan, uppon; upp up + on, an, on. See {Up}, and {On}.] On; used in all the senses of that word, with which it is interchangeable. Upon an hill of flowers. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Our host upon his stirrups stood anon. Chaucer.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • upon — tends to sound more formal and emphatic than on when the two are used interchangeably: to look upon someone as a friend is a somewhat more imposing proposition than to look on them as a friend. Upon is the only choice in certain fixed expressions …   Modern English usage

  • upon — [ə pän′, ə pôn′] prep. [ME < up,UP1 + on,ON, prob. infl. by ON upp á (< upp, upward + á, on)] ON (in various senses), or up and on: on and upon are generally interchangeable, the choice being governed by idiom, sentence rhythm, etc. adv. 1 …   English World dictionary

  • upon — early 12c., from UP (Cf. up) + ON (Cf. on); probably influenced by O.N. upp a. Distinct from O.E. uppan which merely meant up. In the mod. Scand. tongues, except Icelandic and Færöese, the reduced form pa, paa, corresponding to Eng. (colloq. or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • upon */*/*/ — UK [əˈpɒn] / US [əˈpɑn] preposition Collocations: Upon is much more formal than on, but it can be used with the same meanings as the preposition on in the following cases: on/onto an object or surface: It fell upon the ground. supported by a part …   English dictionary

  • upon — up|on [ ə pan ] preposition *** 1. ) on LITERARY on or onto something: Shadows were flickering upon the studio floor. He believes we were put upon this earth for a purpose. 2. ) used after some verbs instead of on FORMAL used after some verbs… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • upon — up|on W1S3 [əˈpɔn US əˈpa:n] prep formal [Date: 1100 1200; Origin: up + on] 1.) used to mean on or onto ▪ an honour bestowed upon the association ▪ We are completely dependent upon your help. ▪ Brandon threw him upon the ground. 2.) if a time or… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • upon — /euh pon , euh pawn /, prep. 1. up and on; upward so as to get or be on: He climbed upon his horse and rode off. 2. in an elevated position on: There is a television antenna upon every house in the neighborhood. 3. in or into complete or… …   Universalium

  • UPON — prep. = ON. Usage: Upon is sometimes more formal, and is preferred in once upon a time and upon my word, and in uses such as row upon row of seats and Christmas is almost upon us. Etymology: ME f. UP + ON prep., after ON upp aacute …   Useful english dictionary

  • upon — (as used in expressions) Kingston upon Hull Newcastle (upon Tyne), William Cavendish, 1 duque de Newcastle upon Tyne Stratford upon Avon …   Enciclopedia Universal

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