Report On: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 31, 2023

The expression "report on" is a formal request or directive to provide detailed information about a particular subject, event, or situation. It implies a thorough investigation and analysis, often requiring data gathering, interviews, or observations. The phrase is commonly used in journalism, academia, and business, where comprehensive accounts are essential for decision-making or public awareness.

In short:

"Report on" refers to providing detailed information or an account of a particular topic or event.

What Does "Report On" Mean?

The phrase "report on" is a term commonly used in journalism, academia, and business to signify the act of providing a detailed account or summary of a particular subject, event, or situation. This phrase often indicates that the speaker will present facts, data, or insights gathered through research or observation.

Let's delve into its core meanings and usage:

  • Giving a detailed account or information about a specific topic or event.
  • Presenting findings or results after conducting research or an investigation.

It's essential to understand the context in which "report on" is used, as its meaning can vary slightly based on the situation.

Where Does "Report On" Come From?

The word "report" comes from the Middle English "reporten," which itself is derived from Anglo-Norman "reporter" and Middle French "reporter." These terms trace back to Latin "reportāre," which means "to carry back" or "return." The term evolved to signify making something known or telling, and it is often used to carry a message or provide an account of observations or investigations.

Historical Example

"...the Masters shall report on the proposal, and the report shall be brought before the Lord Chancellor intrusted as aforesaid by petition, who shall make such order upon the report and respecting the costs as to him ..."

- The Jurist .., Volume 17, Part 2, 1854

10 Examples of "Report On" in Sentences

Understanding an idiom is easier when you see it in action. Here are ten sentences using "report on":

  • We'll report on the traffic conditions at a quarter to eight. Stay tuned!
  • Can you report on the findings of the survey by tomorrow?
  • She will report on the environmental impacts of the new policy.
  • Sarah was eager to report on how her team would take the lead in creating a sustainable garden.
  • They reported on the latest fashion trends from Paris.
  • He is reporting on the effects of climate change in the Arctic.
  • The committee will report on their recommendations next week.
  • The local weather station was diligent in its report on the incoming snowstorm.
  • The tech journalist couldn't wait to report on the new foldable smartphone hitting the market next month.
  • Can you report on the feedback received from the customers?

Examples of "Report On" in Pop Culture

  • The movie "All the President's Men" showcases journalists reporting on the Watergate scandal.
  • In the TV show "House of Cards," a young reporter is seen reporting on political conspiracies.
  • The song "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley touches upon the media's eagerness to report on scandals.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Report On"

Here are other words that express the same meaning:

  • Detail
  • Describe
  • Relate
  • Recount
  • Narrate

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Report On":

  • What does "report on" mean?

It refers to providing detailed information or an account of a particular topic or event.

  • Where did the idiom "report on" originate?

The phrase can be traced back to the Latin word 'reportage,' meaning 'to bring back.'

  • Is "report on" used in formal contexts?

Yes, it is used in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Can "report on" be used in daily conversations?

Absolutely! It's a versatile idiom that fits many situations.

  • Is "report on" the same as "inform about"?

Not exactly. While both can be used to convey information, "report on" often implies a more detailed account.

  • How is "report on" different from "report to"?

"Report on" means to give information about a topic, while "report to" means to be accountable to someone or answer to them.

  • Can "report on" be used in academic writing?

Yes, especially when discussing findings or results of research.

  • Is "report on" commonly used in news reporting?

Yes, journalists frequently use the term when covering stories or events.

  • Are there any popular songs that use "report on"?

For instance, "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley touches upon the media's eagerness to report on scandals.

  • Is "report on" a global idiom?

While the English phrase is widely understood, different languages might have their own versions or ways of expressing the same idea.

Final Thoughts About "Report On"

Report on" is a common phrase used to convey the act of providing information or updates about a specific topic or event. Whether you're a journalist covering the latest news, a student updating your professor on a research project, or an employee giving updates in a meeting, "report on" is a key phrase to understand and utilize.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • "Report on" refers to giving a detailed account or information.
  • It has Latin roots and has been used in formal documents like the U.S. Constitution.
  • The idiom is versatile and can be found in everyday conversations, academic writings, and media reports.

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