I looked for its meaning and I found this from The Free Dictionary:

A large, sudden, and widespread demand for something.

I am not sure this is the right answer for the next context:

No French sovereign could dare to withdraw without avenging the first check met with by the French army since Waterloo, and thus was the Emperor rushed on to fulfil his own destiny.

Maximilian in Mexico - Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 Sara Yorke Stevenson

  • 2
    Your definition links are a completely different idiom = a rush (or a run) is when there's a sudden high consumer demand for some product, so the distributors might run out of stock. Your example doesn't look too good to me, but it's obviously using rushed to mean hurried (the Emperor was dragged / pushed / hurried / "steamrollered" into doing something). The preposition on is barely relevant to either of these idiomatic usages. Commented May 28, 2023 at 17:47
  • If that is a quotation, then please format it correctly (a block quote would probably work better than quotation marks) and cite the source. Commented May 28, 2023 at 21:27
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    @MarcInManhattan Done!
    – Quique
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


The definition that you found is for the noun "rush", which can be used with the preposition "on". However, in your example "rush" is not a noun; the preceding instance of "was" and the "-ed" suffix suggest that it is instead the past participle form of a verb. (You may want to review how to form the passive voice.) Merriam-Webster's definitions aren't a perfect match for this meaning, but I'd say that the closest is:

to push or impel on or forward with speed, impetuosity, or violence

The closest definition for "on" is:

2a: forward or at a more advanced point in space or time
| went on home
| later on

I doubt that the emperor was rushed forward literally "at a more advanced point in space or time"; the use of "on" here is somewhat figurative and means something more like "forward toward some goal".


Another possibility for "on" (suggested in a comment below) is:

b: in continuance or succession
| rambled on
| and so on

  • I'd say the meaning is 2 b : in continuance or succession, rambled on
    – gotube
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:02
  • @gotube I never said that it was a preposition here; I said that the preposition could be used with the noun "rush". I'm in complete agreement that it's an adverb here. Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:47
  • @gotube Yes, I considered meaning 2b, but I thought that 2a was a little closer to what was likely intended. I don't think that either entry is a great fit, really, but I guess that we can't expect a free online dictionary to be very comprehensive. Commented May 29, 2023 at 17:50
  • To me, the quote clearly means the emperor continued to rush, which is 2b, especially considering the example given with it: "ramble on", which means to continually ramble.
    – gotube
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 20:38
  • @gotube You may be right; some more context might be helpful. Commented May 29, 2023 at 20:43

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