to·ward | \ ˈtō-ərd , ˈtȯ(-ə)rd \
variants: or towards \ˈtō-ərd(z), ˈtȯ(-ə)rd(z), tə-ˈwȯrd(z), ˈtwȯrd(z) \

Definition of toward 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in the direction of driving toward town

2a : along a course leading to a long stride toward disarmament

b : in relation to an attitude toward life

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 : not long before toward the end of the afternoon

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


to·ward | \ ˈtō-ərd , ˈtȯ(-ə)rd \

Definition of toward (Entry 2 of 2)

1 or less commonly towards \ˈtō-ərdz, ˈtȯ(-ə)rdz \ [ Middle English towardes, from Old English tōweardes, preposition, toward, from tōweard, adjective ]

a : coming soon : imminent

b : happening at the moment : afoot

2a obsolete : quick to learn : apt

b : propitious, favoring a toward breeze

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Examples of toward in a Sentence


The bus is heading toward town. She took a step toward the door. They live out towards the edge of town. We're thinking of taking a vacation towards the end of the month. Efforts toward peace have been largely unsuccessful.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Proceeds will go toward the Miles for Mary fund-raiser in memory of an 8-year old girl who died from a form of liver cancer in December 2010. Allison Hagan,, "Business agenda," 12 July 2018 The interest on that home equity loan would still be deductible if the money goes toward building, acquiring or substantially improving the home. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Students aren't the only ones crushed by school debt," 11 July 2018 There are few if any aces on the trade market this summer, but even someone like veteran Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ would go a long way toward stabilizing the rotation for a pennant run. Staff,, "Midseason Roundtable: The SI Staff Makes Some Second-Half Predictions," 11 July 2018 The $10 can go toward any purchase made during Prime Day 2018. Olivia Harrison,, "Amazon Announced More Prime Day Deals For Whole Foods Shoppers," 11 July 2018 All the proceeds from the dinners will go toward rebuilding the West Texas park. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Texas distillery teams up with Truluck's Seafood to help save Balmorhea State Park," 10 July 2018 Proceeds from the collection will go toward the United Negro College Fund, which provides scholarships to black students and financial support for 37 HBCUs. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Beyoncé and Balmain Collaborated on a Charity Collection Inspired by Her Coachella Looks," 10 July 2018 This nationwide delivery service is offering $5 off delivery orders of $20 or more to go toward the purchase of any fry item on the menu from their restaurant partners., "How to Get Free McDonald's Fries and More Deals on Friday for National French Fry Day," 13 July 2018 Proceeds will go toward the organization’s building fund. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 13 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of toward


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for toward


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

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Statistics for toward

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toward

The first known use of toward was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of toward

: in the direction of (something or someone)

—used to indicate the direction faced by something

: near (a particular place)


to·ward | \ ˈtō-ərd , tə-ˈwȯrd \
variants: or towards \ˈtō-ərdz, tə-ˈwȯrdz \

Kids Definition of toward

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

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

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

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

5 : near entry 2 I awoke toward morning.

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

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Comments on toward

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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