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preposition \tə, tu̇, ˈtü\

Simple Definition of to

  • —used to indicate the place, person, or thing that someone or something moves toward

  • —used to indicate the place where someone participates in a particular activity

  • —used to indicate the direction of something

Full Definition of to

  1. 1a —used as a function word to indicate movement or an action or condition suggestive of movement toward a place, person, or thing reached <drove to the city> <went back to the original idea> <went to lunch>b —used as a function word to indicate direction <a mile to the south> <turned his back to the door> <a tendency to silliness>c —used as a function word to indicate contact or proximity <applied polish to the table> <put her hand to her heart>d (1) —used as a function word to indicate the place or point that is the far limit <100 miles to the nearest town> (2) —used as a function word to indicate the limit of extent <stripped to the waist>e —used as a function word to indicate relative position <perpendicular to the floor>

  2. 2a —used as a function word to indicate purpose, intention, tendency, result, or end <came to our aid> <drink to his health>b —used as a function word to indicate the result of an action or a process <broken all to pieces> <go to seed> <to their surprise, the train left on time>

  3. 3 —used as a function word to indicate position or relation in time: asa :  before <five minutes to five>b :  till <from eight to five> <up to now>

  4. 4 —used as a function word to indicate addition, attachment, connection, belonging, possession, accompaniment, or response <the key to the door> <danced to live music> <comes to her call>

  5. 5 —used as a function word (1) to indicate the extent or degree (as of completeness or accuracy) <loyal to a man> <generous to a fault> or the extent and result (as of an action or a condition) <beaten to death> (2) to indicate the last or an intermediate point of a series <moderate to cool temperatures>

  6. 6a —used as a function word (1) to indicate a relation to one that serves as a standard <inferior to her earlier works> (2) to indicate similarity, correspondence, dissimilarity, or proportion <compared him to a god>b —used as a function word to indicate agreement or conformity <add salt to taste> <to my knowledge>c —used as a function word to indicate a proportion in terms of numbers or quantities <400 to the box> <odds of ten to one>

  7. 7a —used as a function word (1) to indicate the application of an adjective or a noun <agreeable to everyone> <attitude to friends> <title to the property> (2) to indicate the relation of a verb to its complement or to a complementary element <refers to the traditions> (3) to indicate the receiver of an action or the one for which something is done or exists <gives a dollar to the man> and often used with a reflexive pronoun to indicate exclusiveness (as of possession) or separateness <had the house to themselves>b —used as a function word to indicate agency <falls to his opponent's blows>

  8. 8 —used as a function word to indicate that the following verb is an infinitive <wants to go> and often used by itself at the end of a clause in place of an infinitive suggested by the preceding context <knows more than she seems to>

Examples of to

  1. <right now it's 25 minutes to 10:00>

Origin of to

Middle English, from Old English tō; akin to Old High German zuo to, Latin donec as long as, until

First Known Use: before 12th century



adverb \ˈtü\

Simple Definition of to

  • : into a state of being awake or conscious

  • : into a position that is closed or almost closed

Full Definition of to

  1. 1a —used as a function word to indicate direction toward <run to and fro>b :  close to the wind <the gale having gone over, we came to — R. H. Dana>

  2. 2a :  into contact especially with the frame —used of a door or a window <the door snapped to>b —used as a function word to indicate physical application or attachment <he…hath set to his seal — John 3:33(Authorized Version)>

  3. 3 —used as a function word to indicate application or attention <will stand to — Shakespeare>

  4. 4 :  to a state of consciousness or awareness <brings her to with smelling salts>

  5. 5 :  at hand :  by <get to see 'em close to — Richard Llewellyn>

Examples of to

  1. The wind blew the door to.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of to

before 12th century



Definition of TO

  1. 1 table of organization

  2. 2 traditional orthography

  3. 3 turnover

TO Defined for Kids



preposition \tə, ˈtü\

Definition of to

  1. 1 :  in the direction of <I'm walking to school.>

  2. 2 :  against 4, on <Apply salve to the burn.>

  3. 3 :  as far as <It fell from the top to the bottom.> <Water was up to my waist.>

  4. 4 :  so as to become or bring about <You broke it to pieces!>

  5. 5 :  2before 2 <Meet me at ten to six.>

  6. 6 :  1until <The café is open from six to noon.>

  7. 7 :  fitting or being a part of or response to <I found a key to the lock.> <What do you say to that?>

  8. 8 :  along with <Skip to the music.>

  9. 9 :  in relation to or comparison with <This one is similar to that one.> <We won ten to six.>

  10. 10 :  in agreement with <It's made to order.>

  11. 11 :  within the limits of <There's no more to my knowledge.>

  12. 12 :  contained, occurring, or included in <There are two pints to a quart.>

  13. 13 —used to show the one or ones that an action is directed toward <He spoke to my parents.> <I gave it to them.>

  14. 14 :  for no one except <We had the room to ourselves.>

  15. 15 :  into the action of <We got to talking.>

  16. 16 —used to mark an infinitive <I like to swim.>

Headscratcher for to

You might think that more than two to's is too many, but in English we have three: to, two, and too!



adverb \ˈtü\

Definition of to

  1. 1 :  in a direction toward <They ran to and fro.>

  2. 2 :  to a conscious state <The driver came to an hour after the accident.>

Seen and Heard

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February 9, 2016

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