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)