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adjective to·ward \ˈtō-ərd, ˈtȯ(-ə)rd\

Definition of toward

  1. 1 also to·wards play \ˈtō-ərdz, ˈtȯ(-ə)rdz\ [Middle English towardes, from Old English tōweardes, preposition, toward, from tōweard, adjective] a :  coming soon :  imminentb :  happening at the moment :  afoot

  2. 2a obsolete :  quick to learn :  aptb :  propitious, favoring <a toward breeze>

Origin of toward

Middle English toward, from Old English tōweard facing, imminent, from tō, preposition, to + -weard -ward

First Known Use: before 12th century



preposition to·ward \ˈtō-ərd(z), ˈtȯ(-ə)rd(z), tə-ˈwȯrd(z), ˈtwȯrd(z), ˈtwōrd(z)\

Simple Definition of toward

  • : in the direction of (something or someone)

  • —used to indicate the direction faced by something

  • : near (a particular place)

Full Definition of toward

  1. 1 :  in the direction of <driving toward town>

  2. 2a :  along a course leading to <a long stride toward disarmament>b :  in relation to <an attitude toward life>

  3. 3a :  at a point in the direction of :  near <a cottage somewhere up toward the lake>b :  in such a position as to be in the direction of <your back was toward me>

  4. 4 :  not long before <toward the end of the afternoon>

  5. 5a :  in the way of help or assistance in <did all he could toward raising campaign funds>b :  for the partial payment of <proceeds go toward the establishment of a scholarship>

Examples of toward

  1. The bus is heading toward town.

  2. She took a step toward the door.

  3. They live out towards the edge of town.

  4. We're thinking of taking a vacation towards the end of the month.

  5. Efforts toward peace have been largely unsuccessful.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of toward

before 12th century

Variants of toward

or to·wardsplay play play \ˈtō-ərd(z), ˈtȯ(-ə)rd(z), tə-ˈwȯrd(z), ˈtwȯrd(z), ˈtwōrd(z)\

TOWARD Defined for Kids


preposition to·ward \ˈtō-ərd, tə-ˈwȯrd\

Definition of toward

  1. 1 :  in the direction of <We're heading toward town.>

  2. 2 :  along a course leading to <They made efforts toward peace.>

  3. 3 :  in regard to <I like his attitude toward life.>

  4. 4 :  so as to face <Their backs were toward me.>

  5. 5 :  2near <I awoke toward morning.>

  6. 6 :  as part of the payment for <She put money toward a new car.>

Variants of toward

or to·wards \ˈtō-ərdz, tə-ˈwȯrdz\

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up toward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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