on top of somebody/something

on top of (someone or something)

1. In complete control or with complete awareness of someone or something, often due to being diligent, fully informed, and/or up-to-date. A: "How is the new project going?" B: "Right on track! Jen was on top of it while you were on vacation." I don't know how you keep on top of all the different student issues that are brought to your attention. How Janet manages to stay on top of all eight of those kids is really beyond me.
2. In addition to something. On top of losing my favorite present, the pool where I was having my party had to close down for the day. Worst birthday ever!
3. In very close proximity to someone or something. I thought I had a great spot right up front for the concert, but I had so many people right on top of me that I ended up not enjoying it at all. Zoning laws usually prohibit new developments from being built right on top of existing ones.
See also: of, on, top

on top of something

COMMON If you are on top of a task or situation, you are dealing with it successfully. That's the job. You've got to be on top of the problems. The government does not seem able to get on top of the situation. Note: If you are beginning to deal with a task or situation successfully, you can say that you are getting on top of it. We are getting on top of crime but there is much more to be done.
See also: of, on, something, top

on top of somebody/something


1 in addition to something; also: On top of his salary, he gets about €150 in commission every week.
2 too close to something/somebody: These houses are all built on top of one another.He was right on top of (= driving very close behind) the car in front.
See also: of, on, somebody, something, top