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See also: towards and to-ward



From Old English tōweard, equivalent to to +‎ -ward



toward (chiefly US)

  1. In the direction of.
    She moved toward the door.
    • Bible, Numbers xxiv. 1
      He set his face toward the wilderness.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  2. In relation to (someone or something).
    What are your feelings toward him?
  3. For the purpose of attaining (an aim).
    I'm saving money toward retirement.
  4. Located close to; near (a time or place).
    Our place is over toward the station.
    • Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
      I am toward nine years older since I left you.

Usage notes[edit]




The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


toward (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Future; to come.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.iv:
      ere that wished day his beame disclosd, / He either enuying my toward good, / Or of himselfe to treason ill disposd / One day vnto me came in friendly mood [...].
  2. (dated) Approaching, coming near; impending; present, at hand.
    • Shakespeare
      Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XV, Practical — Devotional
      On the morrow […] our Lord Abbot orders the Cellerarius to send off his carpenters to demolish the said structure brevi manu, and lay up the wood in safe keeping. Old Dean Herbert, hearing what was toward, comes tottering along hither, to plead humbly for himself and his mill.
  3. Yielding, pliant; docile; ready or apt to learn; not froward.
  4. (obsolete or archaic) Promising, likely; froward.
    Why, that is spoken like a toward prince. ― Shakespeare.