from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • suffix In a specified direction in time or space: downward.
  • suffix Toward a specified place or position: skyward.
  • suffix Occurring or situated in a specified direction: leftward.
  • suffix Having a direction toward a specified place or position: landward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • suffix Forming adverbs denoting course or direction to, or motion or tendency toward, as in "backward", "toward", "forward", etc.
  • suffix Forming adjectives, as in "a backward look", "the northward road", etc; used even by speakers who usually use -wards for adverbs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Suffixes denoting course or direction to; motion or tendency toward; as in backward, or backwards; toward, or towards, etc.


Middle English, from Old English -weard; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)


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