\ ˌtü-ən-ˈfrō How to pronounce to-and-fro (audio) \

Definition of to-and-fro

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: activity involving alternating movement in opposite directions the busy to-and-fro of the holiday shoppers



Definition of to-and-fro (Entry 2 of 3)

: forward and backward

to and fro


Definition of to and fro (Entry 3 of 3)

: from one place to another

Examples of to-and-fro in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Each of these is basically a giant piece of furniture that can glide to and fro on a small track installed along a wall. Christopher Mims, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2022 Attention is very much being paid on the daily trips to and fro. Erin Douglass, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 June 2022 Throughout the gala, guests floated to and fro, and an open ice bar hosted by Hennessy X.O towered above. Jamila Stewart, Vogue, 23 May 2022 Van and his brother jig madly to and fro, while Lanegan clings to the microphone stand in apparent desperation, cigarette in one hand, eyes closed. Jim Greer, SPIN, 10 Apr. 2022 On the broad path to the port the visitors milled to and fro. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Émilie, whose family is Taiwanese, and who slips to and fro between Mandarin and French, is in luck. The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2022 Producing those bottles and shipping them to and fro accounted for more than 62 percent of the brand’s carbon footprint. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 Baseball will get its CBA honeymoon as free agents bounce to and fro and big-league camps awaken our spring rituals. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'to-and-fro.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of to-and-fro


1553, in the meaning defined above


1749, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for to-and-fro

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The first known use of to-and-fro was in the 14th century

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to and fro

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Cite this Entry

“To-and-fro.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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