Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


To

To

([GREEK], emphatic or alone, [GREEK], obscure or unemphatic)
,
p
rep.
[AS.
tō
; akin to OS. & OFries.
tō
, D.
toe
, G.
zu
, OHG.
zuo
,
zua
,
zō
, Russ.
do
, Ir. & Gael.
do
, OL.
-do
,
-du
, as in
endo
,
indu
, in, Gr. [GREEK], as in [GREEK] homeward. √200. Cf.
Too
,
Tatoo
a beat of drums.]
1.
The preposition to primarily indicates approach and arrival, motion made in the direction of a place or thing and attaining it, access; and also, motion or tendency without arrival; movement toward; – opposed to
from
.
To Canterbury they wend.”
Chaucer.
Stay with us, go not
to
Wittenberg.
Shakespeare
So
to
the sylvan lodge
They came, that like Pomona’s arbor smiled.
Milton.
I'll
to
him again, . . .
He'll tell me all his purpose.
She stretched her arms
to
heaven.
Dryden.
2.
Hence, it indicates motion, course, or tendency toward a time, a state or condition, an aim, or anything capable of being regarded as a limit to a tendency, movement, or action;
as, he is going
to
a trade; he is rising
to
wealth and honor
.
☞ Formerly, by omission of the verb denoting motion, to sometimes followed a form of be, with the sense of at, or in. “When the sun was [gone or declined] to rest.”
Chaucer.
3.
In a very general way, and with innumerable varieties of application, to connects transitive verbs with their remoter or indirect object, and adjectives, nouns, and neuter or passive verbs with a following noun which limits their action. Its sphere verges upon that of for, but it contains less the idea of design or appropriation;
as, these remarks were addressed
to
a large audience; let us keep this seat
to
ourselves; a substance sweet
to
the taste; an event painful
to
the mind; duty
to
God and
to
our parents; a dislike
to
spirituous liquor
.
Marks and points out each man of us
to
slaughter.
B. Jonson.
Whilst they, distilled
Almost
to
jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not
to
him.
Shakespeare
Add
to
your faith virtue; and
to
virtue knowledge; and
to
knowledge temperance; and
to
temperance patience; and
to
patience godliness; and
to
godliness brotherly kindness; and
to
brotherly kindness charity.
2 Pet. i. 5,6,7.
I have a king's oath
to
the contrary.
Shakespeare
Numbers were crowded
to
death.
Clarendon.
Fate and the dooming gods are deaf
to
tears.
Dryden.
Go, buckle
to
the law.
Dryden.
4.
As sign of the infinitive, to had originally the use of last defined, governing the infinitive as a verbal noun, and connecting it as indirect object with a preceding verb or adjective; thus, ready to go, i.e., ready unto going; good to eat, i.e., good for eating; I do my utmost to lead my life pleasantly. But it has come to be the almost constant prefix to the infinitive, even in situations where it has no prepositional meaning, as where the infinitive is direct object or subject; thus, I love to learn, i.e., I love learning; to die for one's country is noble, i.e., the dying for one's country. Where the infinitive denotes the design or purpose, good usage formerly allowed the prefixing of for to the to;
as, what went ye out
for
see? (
Matt. xi. 8
)
.
Then longen folk
to
go on pilgrimages,
And palmers
for to
seeken strange stranders.
Chaucer.
Such usage is now obsolete or illiterate. In colloquial usage, to often stands for, and supplies, an infinitive already mentioned; thus, he commands me to go with him, but I do not wish to.
5.
In many phrases, and in connection with many other words, to has a pregnant meaning, or is used elliptically.
Thus, it denotes or implies:
(a)
Extent; limit; degree of comprehension; inclusion as far as;
as, they met us
to
the number of three hundred
.
We ready are to try our fortunes
To
the last man.
Shakespeare
Few of the Esquimaux can count
to
ten.
Quant. Rev.
(b)
Effect; end; consequence;
as, the prince was flattered
to
his ruin; he engaged in a war
to
his cost; violent factions exist
to
the prejudice of the state
.
(c)
Apposition; connection; antithesis; opposition; as, they engaged hand to hand.
Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face
to
face.
1 Cor. xiii. 12.
(d)
Accord; adaptation;
as, an occupation
to
his taste; she has a husband
to
her mind
.
He
to
God's image, she
to
his was made.
Dryden.
(e)
Comparison;
as, three is
to
nine as nine is
to
twenty-seven; it is ten
to
one that you will offend him
.
All that they did was piety
to
this.
B. Jonson.
(f)
Addition; union; accumulation.
Wisdom he has, and
to
his wisdom, courage.
Denham.
(g)
Accompaniment;
as, she sang
to
his guitar; they danced
to
the music of a piano
.
Anon they move
In perfect phalanx
to
the Dorian mood
Of flutes and soft recorders.
Milton.
(h)
Character; condition of being; purpose subserved or office filled.
[In this sense archaic]
“I have a king here to my flatterer.”
Shak.
Made his masters and others . . . to consider him
to
a little wonder.
Walton.
To in to-day, to-night, and to-morrow has the sense or force of for or on; for, or on, (this) day, for, or on, (this) night, for, or on, (the) morrow. To-day, to-night, to-morrow may be considered as compounds, and usually as adverbs; but they are sometimes used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.
To-morrow
, and
to-morrow
, and
to-morrow
;
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
Shakespeare
To and again
,
to and fro.
[R.]
To and fro
,
forward and back. In this phrase, to is adverbial.

There was great showing both
to and fro
.
Chaucer.
To-and-fro
,
a pacing backward and forward; as, to commence a to-and-fro.
Tennyson.
To the face
,
in front of; in behind; hence, in the presence of.
To wit
,
to know; namely. See
Wit
,
Verb.
I.
To, without an object expressed, is used adverbially; as, put to the door, i. e., put the door to its frame, close it; and in the nautical expressions, to heave to, to come to, meaning to a certain position. To, like on, is sometimes used as a command, forward, set to. “To, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!”
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


To

TO

, prep.
1.
Noting motion towards a place; opposed to from, or placed after another word expressing motion towards. He is going to church.
2.
Noting motion towards a state or condition. He is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor.
3.
Noting accord or adaptation; as an occupation suited to his taste; she has a husband to her mind.
4.
Noting address or compellation, or the direction of a discourse. These remarks were addressed to a large audience.
To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland;
I pledge your grace.
5.
Noting attention or application.
Go, buckle to the law.
Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them. 1 Tim.4.
6.
Noting addition.
Add to your faith, virtue. 2 Pet.1.
Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, courage.
7.
Noting opposition. They engaged hand to hand.
8.
Noting amount, rising to. They met us, to the number of three hundred.
9.
Noting proportion; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty seven. It is ten to one that you will offend by your officiousness.
10. Noting possession or appropriation. We have a good seat; let us keep it to ourselves.
11. Noting perception; as a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind.
12. Noting the subject of an affirmation.
I have a king's oath to the contrary.
13. In comparison of.
All that they did was piety to this.
14. As far as.
Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten.
15. Noting intention.
--Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter.
[In this sense, for is now used.]
16. After an adjective, noting the object; as deaf to the cries of distress; alive to the sufferings of the poor. He was attentive to the company or to the discourse.
17. Noting obligation; as duty to God and to our parents.
18. Noting enmity; as a dislike to spiritus liquors.
19. Towards; as, she stretched her arms to heaven.
20. Noting effect or end. The prince was flattered to his ruin. He engaged in a war to this cost. Violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state.
Numbers were crowded to death.
21. To, as a sign of the infinitive, precedes the radical verb. Sometimes it is used instead of the ancient form, for to, noting purpose. David in his life time intended to build a temple. The legislature assembles annually to make and amend laws. The court will sit in February to try some important causes.
22. It precedes the radical verb after adjectives, noting the object; as ready to go; prompt to obey; quick to hear, but slow to censure.
23. It precedes the radical verb, noting the object.
The delay of our hopes teaches us to mortify our desires.
24. It precedes the radical verb, noting consequence.
I have done my utmost to lead my life so pleasantly as to forget my misfortunes.
25. It notes extent, degree or end. He languishes to death, even to death. The water rises to the highth of twenty feet. The line extends from one end to the other.
26. After the substantive verb, and with the radical verb, it denotes futurity. The construction, we are to meet at ten o'clock, every man at death is to receive the reward of his deeds, is a particular form of expressing future time.
27. After have, it denotes duty or necessity.
I have a debt to pay on Saturday.
28. To-day, to-night, to-morrow, are peculiar phrases derived from our ancestors. To in the two first, has the sense or force of this; this day, this night. In the last, it is equivalent to in or on; in or on the morrow. The words may be considered as compounds, to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and usually as adverbs. But sometimes they are used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.
To and from, backward and forward. In this phrase, to is adverbial.
To the face, in presence of; not in the absence of.
I withstood him face to face. Gal.2.
To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
[Note.--In the foregoing explanation of to, it is to be considered that the definition given is not always the sense of to by itself, but the sense rather of the word preceding it, or connected with it, or of to in connection with other words. In general, to is used in the sense of moving towards a place, or towards an object, or it expresses direction towards a place, end, object or purpose.]
To is often used adverbially to modify the sense of verbs; as, to come to; to heave to. The sense of such phrases is explained under the verbs respectively.
In popular phrases like the following, 'I will not come; you shall to, or too, a genuine Saxon phrase, to denotes moreover, besides, L. insuper.

Definition 2022


To

To

See also: Appendix:Variations of "to"

French

Abbreviation

To

  1. Abbreviation for téraoctet; TB (terabyte)

to

to

See also: Appendix:Variations of "to"

English

Alternative forms

Particle

to

  1. A particle used for marking the following verb as an infinitive.
    I want to leave.
    He asked me what to do.
    I don’t know how to say it.
    I have places to go and people to see.
    • 1711, Alexander Pope:
      To err is human, to forgive divine.
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act 3, Scene 1:
      To be, or not to be: that is the question: / []
    • 2010 July, Associated Press, headline :
      Odds are, BP to get new CEO this year
    • 2011 April 10, Alistair Magowan, “Aston Villa 1 - 0 Newcastle”, in BBC Sport:
      To that end, the home supporters were in good voice to begin with, but it was Newcastle who started the game in the ascendancy, with Barton putting a diving header over the top from Jose Enrique's cross.
  2. As above, with the verb implied.
    "Did you visit the museum?" "I wanted to, but it was closed."
    If he hasn't read it yet, he ought to.

Derived terms

Translations

Preposition

to

  1. Indicating destination: In the direction of, and arriving at.
    We are walking to the shop.
    • 2013 September 28, Kenan Malik, "London Is Special, but Not That Special," New York Times (retrieved 28 September 2013):
      Driven by a perceived political need to adopt a hard-line stance, Mr. Cameron’s coalition government has imposed myriad new restrictions, the aim of which is to reduce net migration to Britain to below 100,000.
  2. Used to indicate purpose.
    He devoted himself to education.
    They drank to his health.
  3. Used after certain adjectives to indicate a relationship.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. Indicating a necessity.
    That is something to do.
  5. Used to indicate result of action.
    His face was beaten to a pulp.
  6. Used after an adjective to indicate its application.
    similar to ..., relevant to ..., pertinent to ..., I was nice to him, he was cruel to her, I am used to walking.
  7. (obsolete) As a.
    With God to friend (with God as a friend);   with The Devil to fiend (with the Devil as a foe);   lambs slaughtered to lake (lambs slaughtered as a sacrifice);   took her to wife (took her as a wife);   was sold to slave (was sold as a slave).
  8. (arithmetic) Used to indicate ratios; in informal use the ratios are not reduced to smallest terms.
    one to one = 1:1
    ten to one = 10:1.
    • 2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, in BBC Sport:
      In total, the Reds had 28 shots to their opponent's nine, and 15 corners to the Baggies' three.
  9. (arithmetic) Used to indicate that the preceding term is to be raised to the power of the following value; indicates exponentiation.
    Three squared or three to the second power is nine.
    Three to the power of two is nine.
    Three to the second is nine.
  10. Used to indicate the indirect object.
    I gave the book to him.
  11. (time) Preceding.
    ten to ten = 9:50; We're going to leave at ten to (the hour).
  12. (Canada, Britain, Newfoundland, West Midlands) At.
    Stay where you're to and I'll come find you, b'y.

Usage notes

In the seventh sense, it is a fossil word (Standard English only), found usually only in set phrases likeː "to take a woman to wife", "to have someone to friend", "to have something to birthright" etc.. In northern dialects, where it is rare, but still in common use, it is often used in combination with with as inː an idiot with a whore to wife; a shrew with an **** to man; a loser with **** to job; a ghetto girl with a **** hole to home.

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Adverb

to (not comparable)

  1. Toward a closed, touching or engaging position.
    Please push the door to.
  2. (nautical) Into the wind.
  3. Misspelling of too.

Synonyms

  • (toward a closed, touching or engaging position): closed, shut

Antonyms

  • (toward a closed, touching or engaging position): open, ajar

Translations

See also

  • For usage examples of this term, see Citations:to.

References

  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "Spatial particles of orientation", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: the · of · and · #4: to · in · I · that

Anagrams


Asturian

Etymology

From Latin tuus.

Adjective

to

  1. your

Related terms

  • tuyu

Babine-Witsuwit'en

Noun

to

  1. water

References

  • Sharon Hargus, Wisuwit’en Grammar: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology (2007), page 43

Babuza

Noun

to

  1. water

References

  • Naoyoshi Ogawa, English-Favorlang vocabulary (2003)

Bambara

Noun

to

  1. stiff porridge

Catalan

Etymology

From Latin tonus, from Ancient Greek τόνος (tónos).

Noun

to m (plural tons)

  1. (music) tone (specific pitch)
  2. (linguistics) tone (pitch of a word)
  3. tone or shade of a color



Czech

Pronunciation

Pronoun

to n

  1. it, this, that

Dalmatian

Etymology

From Latin tuus. Compare Italian tuo, Romanian tău, Friulian to, French ton, Spanish tu.

Pronoun

to m (feminine toa)

  1. your; second-person masculine singular possessive pronoun

See also


Danish

Etymology 1

From Old Norse tveir, from Proto-Germanic *twai, from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁ (two).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /toː/, [tˢoːˀ]

Numeral

to

  1. (cardinal) two

Etymology 2

From Old Norse þvá (wash), from Proto-Germanic *þwahaną.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /toː/, [tˢoːˀ]

Verb

to (imperative to, infinitive at to, present tense tor, past tense toede, perfect tense har toet)

  1. (dated) wash

Esperanto

Noun

to (accusative singular to-on, plural to-oj, accusative plural to-ojn)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter T/t.

See also


Ewe

Noun

to

  1. antelope
  2. (anatomy) ear
  3. father-in-law
  4. mortar
  5. mountain

Verb

to

  1. to crush
  2. to pound

Finnish

Etymology

Abbreviation of torstai ("Thursday").

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈto/

Abbreviation

to

  1. Thu (abbreviation of Thursday)

Friulian

Etymology

From Latin tuus.

Pronoun

to (second-person singular possessive of masculine singular, of feminine singular , of masculine plural tiei, of feminine plural tôs)

  1. (used attributively) your, thy; of yours, of thine
    che al sedi santifiât il to nom, che al vegni il to ream, — "Your kingdom come, your will be done," (third and fourth sentences of Lord's Prayer)
  2. (used predicatively) yours, thine
  3. (used substantively) yours, thine; the thing belonging to you/ thee

See also


Gonja

Noun

to

  1. language

References

  • Mary E. Kropp Dakubu, The Languages of Ghana

Hupa

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /to(꞉)/

Noun

to

  1. a body of water, such as a lake or ocean

References

  • The Phonology of the Hupa Language, part 1: The Individual Sounds, volume 5, by Roland Burrage Dixon, Samuel Alfred Barrett, Washington Matthews, Bill Ray (using the older orthography "tō")
  • Victor Golla, Hupa Language Dictionary Second Edition (1996), page 105 (to)

Ido

Pronoun

to

  1. (demonstrative) this (thing)

Itene

Noun

to

  1. eye

References

  • Čestmír Loukotka, ‎Johannes Wilbert (editor), Classification of South American Indian Languages (1968, Los Angeles: Latin American Studies Center, University of California), page(s) 162

Japanese

Romanization

to

  1. rōmaji reading of
  2. rōmaji reading of

Kwalhioqua-Tlatskanai

Alternative forms

Noun

to

  1. water

Reference

  • Franz Boas, Pline Early Goddard, Vocabulary of an Athapascan dialect of the State of Washington, IJAL volume III, pages 39-45 (1924-1925)

Latvian

Pronoun

to

  1. that; accusative singular masculine form of tas
  2. with that; instrumental singular masculine form of tas
  3. of that; genitive plural masculine form of tas
  4. that; accusative singular feminine form of tas
  5. with that; instrumental singular feminine form of tas
  6. of that; genitive plural feminine form of tas

Lithuanian

Pronoun

to

  1. that; genitive singular masculine form of tas

Lojban

Cmavo

to

  1. Marks the start of a parenthetical clause or phrase.

Usage notes

  • The elidable terminator for a phrase begun with to is toi.

Related terms


Louisiana Creole French

Etymology

From French tu (you, singular informal).

Pronoun

to

  1. you (singular), thou
    To té paʼlé gra. / To te pale gra.
    You spoke with an accent. (literally: "You had spoken thick.")

Lower Sorbian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [tɔ]

Pronoun

to n

  1. this

Determiner

to

  1. nominative neuter singular of ten
  2. accusative neuter singular of ten

Mauritian Creole

Etymology

From French tu

Pronoun

to (objective twa, formal ou)

  1. you (second-person singular nominative personal pronoun)

See also


Norwegian Bokmål

Norwegian Bokmål cardinal numbers
 <  1 2 3  > 
    Cardinal : to
    Ordinal : annen

Etymology

From Old Norse tveir, from Proto-Germanic *twai, from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /tuː/

Numeral

to

  1. (cardinal) two

Derived terms


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From Old Norse tveir, from Proto-Germanic *twai, from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁.

Numeral

to

  1. (cardinal) two

Derived terms


Novial

Pronoun

to

  1. that (which is male)

Related terms


Old English

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *tō, *ta (to), from Proto-Indo-European *de, *do (to). Cognate with Old Saxon (to), Old High German zuo (to), Old Irish do.

Preposition

  1. to, into
  2. at
  3. (grammar) used to mark the infinitive (supine) of the verb
    drīfenne (to drive)

Adverb

  1. besides
  2. in addition, also, too; moreover
  3. to an excessive degree; too

Descendants


Old Saxon

Etymology

West Germanic *to, whence also Old English and Old High German zuo

Preposition

  1. to

Polish

Etymology

From Proto-Slavic *to, from Proto-Indo-European *tód

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /t̪ɔ/

Pronoun

to

  1. (demonstrative) this (nearby, neuter)

Declension

¹ archaic

See also


Selepet

Noun

to

  1. water

References

  • K. A. McElhanon, Selepet grammar (1972)
  • William A. Foley, The Papuan Languages of New Guinea (1986, ISBN 0521286212), page 257

Slovene

Etymology

From Proto-Slavic *to.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈtóː/
  • Tonal orthography: tọ̑

Pronoun

to

  1. this (neuter)

Tututni

Noun

to

  1. (Euchre Creek) water

References

  • Victor Golla, Tututni (Oregon Athapaskan), International Journal of American Linguistics, volume 42:3 (July 1976), pages 217-227

Vietnamese

Pronunciation

Adjective

to

  1. big, large
  2. great, considerable

Derived terms

See also


Welsh

Etymology

From Proto-Brythonic *toɣ (covering).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /toː/

Noun

to m (plural toeau)

  1. roof

Derived terms

  • aderyn y to
  • to bach

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
to do nho tho
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Zazaki

Pronoun

to

  1. (informal) you (sg., acc.)