Words related to toward

to (prep.)

Old English to "in the direction of, for the purpose of, furthermore," from West Germanic *to (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian to, Dutch toe, Old High German zuo, German zu "to"), from PIE pronominal base *do- "to, toward, upward" (source also of Latin donec "as long as," Old Church Slavonic do "as far as, to," Greek suffix -de "to, toward," Old Irish do, Lithuanian da-), from demonstrative *de-. Not found in Scandinavian, where the equivalent of till (prep.) is used.

The nearly universal use of to with infinitives (to sleep, to dream, etc.) arose in Middle English out of the Old English dative use of to, and it helped drive out the Old English inflectional endings (though in this use to itself is a mere sign, without meaning).

Commonly used as a prefix in Middle English (to-hear "listen to," etc.), but few of these survive (to-do, together, and time references such as today, tonight, tomorrow — Chaucer also has to-yeere). To and fro "side to side" is attested from mid-14c. Phrase what's it to you "how does that concern you?" (1819) is a modern form of an old question:

Huæd is ðec ðæs?
[John xxi:22, in Lindisfarne Gospel, c.950]

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."

fromward (adv.)

(obsolete), late Old English framweardes, from framweard (adj.) "about to depart; doomed to die; with back turned;" opposed to toweard (see toward)); from from + -ward, and compare froward. As a preposition from c. 1200.

froward (adv.)

12c., froward, fraward "turned against, perverse, disobedient; peevish, petulant; adverse, difficult," as a preposition, "away from," the Northern form of Old English fromweard (see fromward), with Old Norse fra (see fro) in place of English from. Opposite of toward, it renders Latin pervertus in early translations of the Psalms, and also meant "about to depart, departing," and "doomed to die." Related: Frowardly; frowardness.

towards (adv.)

Old English toweards, from toweard (adj.) "coming, facing, approaching" (see toward) + adverbial genitive ending.

untoward (adj.)

1520s, "not having inclination" (to or for something), also "difficult to manage, unruly," from un- (1) "not" + toward (adj.).