American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. In a specified direction in time or space: downward.
- n. Toward a specified place or position: skyward.
- n. Occurring or situated in a specified direction: leftward.
- n. Having a direction toward a specified place or position: landward.
- n. Forming adverbs denoting course or direction to, or motion or tendency toward, as in "backward", "toward", "forward", etc.
- n. Forming adjectives, as in "a backward look", "the northward road", etc; used even by speakers who usually use -wards for adverbs.
GNU Webster's 1913
- Suffixes denoting
courseor direction to; motionor tendency toward; as in back ward, or back wards; to ward, or to wards, etc.
- From Old English -weard, -weardes; akin to Old Saxon and Old Frisian -ward. Old High German -wert, German -wärts, Icelandic -verðr, Gothic -vaírþs, Latin vertere to turn, versus toward, and English worth to become. See wort, intransitive verb, and compare verse. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English -weard; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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