be on to (something)(redirected from been on to)
be on to (something)
To discover, realize, or be in the process of doing something of great importance, value, or insight. Great work on this essay, Lindsay. I really think you're on to something here. Scientists now believe they may be on to a cure for cancer.
be on to
1. Be aware of or have information about, as in They can't pull that trick again; we're on to them now. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]
2. Discover something important or profitable, as in The researchers claim they are really on to something big. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
be on to somethinghave an idea or information that is likely to lead to an important discovery. informal
be ˈonto somethingknow about something or be in a situation that could lead to a good result for you: Researchers believe that they are onto something big. ♢ She’s onto a good thing with that new job.
See also: something
To be in the process of finding or understanding something: I'm not sure, but I may be onto a solution to this math problem. The gang was afraid that the police were onto them.
be on toInformal
To be aware of or have information about: You'll never deceive us again; we're on to you.