to and fro
See also: to-and-fro
to-and-fro (all parts of speech except adverb)
- (dated) back and forth; with an alternating motion.
1886, John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine, page 13:
- He bends his knees more than the white man, and oscillates more to and fro, or from side to side.
1979, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), IEEE Electrical Insulation Society, tAnnual report - Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, page 396:
- Even charges hopping on a larger array of localized sites than the two sites in (ii) execute normally many more to-and-fro oscillating motions than ...
back and forth
- To go back and forth; to alternate.
- (dated) Pertaining to something or someone moving forward and back to the same position.
1847, Peter Mere Latham, Lectures on subjects connected with clinical medicine, comprising diseases, page 90:
- The next day he had more power of moving his limbs, and the to and fro sound was thought to be a little less distinct.
pertaining to something in to and fro motion
- (dated) The movement (of someone or something) forward followed by a return to the same position. May refer to a concept such as an emotional state or a relationship as well as a physical thing.
1849, Ralph Erskine, Gospel sonnets; or, Spiritual songs, page 233:
- My life's a maze of seeming traps, A scene of mercies and mishaps; A heap of jarring to and fros, A field of joys, A field of woes.