Definition of online in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɒnˈlʌɪn/


1Controlled by or connected to a computer.
Example sentences
  • Still, only thirty-one computers were online - that is connected to each other - in 1960.
  • After the thirty seconds, the system would be completely back online and the IMX network would again run for a full year.
1.1(Of an activity or service) available on or performed using the Internet or other computer network: online banking
More example sentences
  • Also available is an online shopping service that lists recommended foods based on a person's medical history.
  • The free online service is available on the Joburg City website, under e-services.
  • They also say they are more interested in the Internet for online entertainment than other users, according to the study.


1While connected to a computer or under computer control.
Example sentences
  • Once inside, the controls came online as he flicked on a few switches.
  • Moments later the flight control system came online, my HUD flickering into life.
  • Security controls had been back online as well as the little traps they planted through the space station.
1.1By means of the Internet or other computer network: shoppers would rather pick up the phone than do business online
More example sentences
  • Mobile users will be able to make video calls, download pictures online or access the Internet at faster speeds via 3G technology.
  • White goods are becoming increasingly popular to buy online, with internet sales now accounting for 6.6% of the market.
  • Exams and unit tests could be taken online over the internet.
1.2With processing of computer data carried out simultaneously with its production.
2In or into operation or existence: the new power plant will go online this month the company has additional production capacity coming online later this year
More example sentences
  • The new facility came online this month and expects to ramp up to full production by March.
  • If all goes well, Munton said construction could begin as early as September, with a fully operational plant online in about a year.
  • Air National Guard offices are expected to go online in July.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: on|line

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.