be on to(redirected from on to)
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be on to (someone or something)
1. To have knowledge, be suspicious, or be aware of someone's actions, behavior, or intention. You'd better tread carefully, I'm on to you now. The police are on to us! Everybody run!
2. To be in contact with someone at a given point in time. I'll be on to you tomorrow about the details of our meeting. I was on to John yesterday about where he wants to go for his birthday.
3. 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 toInformal
To be aware of or have information about: You'll never deceive us again; we're on to you.