Words related to afterward

aft (adv.)

Old English æftan "from behind, behind, farthest back," superlative of Old English æf, af, of "away, away from, off" (from PIE root *apo- "off, away"). Cognate with Old Frisian eft "later, afterwards; as well," Old Norse eft "after," Middle Dutch echter, efter "later, again," Gothic afta "behind, past." The Germanic superlative suffix *-ta corresponds to PIE *-to (compare Greek prōtos "first," superlative of pro "before"). The English word is now purely nautical, "in, near, or toward the stern of a ship."


adverbial suffix expressing direction, Old English -weard "toward," literally "turned toward," sometimes -weardes, with genitive singular ending of neuter adjectives, from Proto-Germanic *werda- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian -ward, Old Norse -verðr), variant of PIE *werto- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." The original notion is of "turned toward."

after (adv., prep.)

Old English æfter "behind; later in time" (adv.); "behind in place; later than in time; in pursuit, following with intent to overtake" (prep.), from of "off" (see off (adv.)) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Compare Old Norse eptir "after," Old Frisian efter, Dutch achter, Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind;" also see aft. Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off," Old Persian apataram "further."

From c. 1300 as "in imitation of." As a conjunction, "subsequent to the time that," from late Old English. After hours "hours after regular working hours" is from 1814. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c. 1500 but seems to have fallen from use. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.

afterwards (adv.)
c. 1300, from afterward (q.v.) + adverbial genitive -s.
aftward (adv.)

"toward the stern or back part of a vessel," Middle English afteward, from Old English æftewearde; see aft + -ward. The original form of afterward (q.v.), retained in nautical use. Related: Aftwards.