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


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 book loses power a bit toward the end, in the discussions of electrification and autonomy, a fact that perhaps reflects Appleyard’s own uncertainty about the future. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, 18 Sep. 2022 Officials said a storm system moving toward the West Coast from the Gulf of Alaska could be a mixed blessing for firefighting efforts. Jason Sanchez, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2022 The period of national mourning is moving toward its final denouement Monday, when the late monarch's state funeral is expected to draw a million people and heads of state from around the world. WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 And at a recent White House briefing, Fauci said the U.S. is likely moving toward an influenza-style vaccination program for Covid-19, with annual shots tailored to protect against the dominant variants. Simar Bajaj, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Sep. 2022 Two tropical storms are moving toward the East and West Coasts of the US today, with each packing forceful winds that could create a slew of different challenges for millions of people. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 9 Sep. 2022 Forecast models are showing the thermal trough moving toward the Cascades by Saturday afternoon which should shift the winds more onshore and bring some relief from the heat. oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2022 Solano’s body worn camera and a front-door camera, Alvarez did change his direction slightly just before being shot but the firearm was not pointed or moving toward Solano, the report said. Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune, 8 Sep. 2022 Moving toward The Hague, the newest destination on the list is Museum Voorlinden, a testament to how a private collector can create a public destination. Diane Daniel, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 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


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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Time Traveler for toward

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for toward


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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