toward

preposition
to·​ward | \ ˈtō-ərd How to pronounce toward (audio) , ˈtȯ(-ə)rd How to pronounce toward (audio) \
variants: or towards \ ˈtō-​ərd(z) How to pronounce toward (audio) , 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

toward

adjective
to·​ward | \ ˈtō-ərd How to pronounce toward (audio) , ˈtȯ(-ə)rd How to pronounce toward (audio) \

Definition of toward (Entry 2 of 2)

1 or less commonly towards \ ˈtō-​ərdz How to pronounce toward (audio) , ˈtȯ(-​ə)rdz How to pronounce toward (audio) \ [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

Examples of toward in a Sentence

Preposition 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The purchase represents the county’s first step toward acquiring a new generation of firefighting helicopters to replace the Sheriff’s Department’s three single-engine helicopters, which were built in the 1960s and 1970s. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2022 The Wilmette Village Board has taken an initial step toward allowing construction of two additional paddle tennis courts at West Park, even as some neighbors remain opposed to the idea. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2022 The purple-and-orange throng snaked its way through the maze of barricades that fill downtown Phoenix these days, excitement growing with each step toward the Footprint Center. John Marshall, ajc, 7 May 2022 All-Star center cleared Friday from NBA concussion protocols, a necessary step toward a potential debut in his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 6 May 2022 Simpson believes that’s a sign that managing stress could be one step toward keeping latent viruses at bay. AZCentral.com, 5 May 2022 In 2020, Facebook took a positive step toward banning deepfakes. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 In my mind, regardless of how the distance was created, my husband should step toward our son with expressions of love, and attempt to make contact. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 Last month, Cuba and the United States took a tentative step toward thawing relations and resuming joint efforts to address irregular migration during the highest-level talks between the two countries in four years. Elliot Spagat, The Arizona Republic, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As the pressure has mounted, Paul and Ally have moved toward and away from each other. Peter Libbey, New York Times, 27 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of toward

Preposition

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

Adjective

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

History and Etymology for toward

Adjective

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

Learn More About toward

Time Traveler for toward

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near toward

towan

toward

towardliness

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for toward

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toward. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for toward

toward

preposition
to·​ward | \ ˈtō-ərd How to pronounce toward (audio) , 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on toward

Nglish: Translation of toward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toward for Arabic Speakers

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