have (something) on
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have (something) on
To be busy or engaged with something; to have plans to do something at a particular point in time. Bob: "Do you want to come around on Sunday to watch the big game?" Janet: "Sorry, Bob, I've got something on that evening." I've got a few things on at the moment, but business has been pretty slow overall.
1. To wear an article of clothing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "have" and "on." I wish I had my coat on. It's freezing out here! She had on an elegant black dress.
2. To turn some appliance or electronic device on. A noun or pronoun can be used between "have" and "on." Often used in past tense constructions. No wonder the batteries in the radio are dead—you had it on all night! I don't know how you can stay focused when you have on so many different devices at the same time.
3. To have some activity or task scheduled. A noun or pronoun is used between "have" and "on." You have three meetings on in the morning, boss, then one more after lunch. Sorry, I have too much on today to help you with your project.
4. To prank, trick, or deceive one. Often used sarcastically to indicate indignation or incredulity. A noun or pronoun is used between "have" and "on." Usually used in the continuous tense. Primarily heard in UK. £200 for a tee shirt? Are you having me on? Oh, don't get so upset. We were only having you on.
5. To have incriminating or unfavorable proof against someone, as for some crime, wrongdoing, or misbehavior. A noun or pronoun is used between "have" and "on." Fine, go to the police, for all I care! You don't have anything on me! If we want to nail him for fraud, we'll need to have more on him than a few questionable phone calls.
6. To be able to arrest and convict someone for some crime. A noun or pronoun is used between "have" and "on." Police had the accountant on several different charges, including money laundering, racketeering, and tax evasion.
7. To have a particular advantage over someone. A noun or pronoun is used between "have" and "on." You may think you can beat me, but I have 10 years' experience on you.
8. To invite someone to be a guest on a program for radio, television, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "have" and "on." We've had on a lot of great guests over the years, but this next one might be my most eagerly anticipated. A: "Thanks for joining us today to discuss your new book." B: "Sure thing, thanks for having me on."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. have something on. See have nothing on, def. 3.
2. have someone on; put someone on. Deceive or fool someone, as in There was no answer when I called; someone must be having me on, or You can't mean you're taking up ballet-you're putting me on! [Colloquial; mid-1800s]
have something on
see under have nothing on.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To be wearing something: The dancers had on red shoes. The snowman had a scarf on.
2. To carry something on one's person: Do you have a toothpick on you?
3. To have something scheduled: We have a dinner party on for Friday. Do you have anything on for next weekend?
4. To possess information, usually damaging, about someone or something: Don't worry—the investigators have nothing on you. Anything they have on us won't hold up in court.
5. To tease or mislead by suggesting something is true: Did you really have dinner with the president, or are you just having me on?
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.