Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition In a direction toward so as to reach.
  • preposition Towards.
  • preposition Reaching as far as.
  • preposition To the extent or degree of.
  • preposition With the resultant condition of.
  • preposition Toward a given state.
  • preposition In contact with; against.
  • preposition In front of.
  • preposition Used to indicate appropriation or possession.
  • preposition Concerning; regarding.
  • preposition In a particular relationship with.
  • preposition As an accompaniment or a complement of.
  • preposition Composing; constituting.
  • preposition In accord with.
  • preposition As compared with.
  • preposition Before.
  • preposition Up till; until.
  • preposition For the purpose of.
  • preposition In honor of.
  • preposition Used before a verb to indicate the infinitive.
  • preposition Used alone when the infinitive is understood.
  • preposition Used to indicate the relationship of a verb with its complement.
  • preposition Used with a reflexive pronoun to indicate exclusivity or separateness.
  • adverb In one direction; toward a person or thing.
  • adverb Into a shut or closed position.
  • adverb Into a state of consciousness.
  • adverb Into a state of action or attentiveness.
  • adverb Nautical Into the wind.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • An old spelling of too, toe, two.
  • noun A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning ‘apart, away,’ and denoting separation, negation, or intensity
  • noun A Japanese grain and liquid measure containing 1097.52 cubic inches, or a little less than half an imperial bushel.
  • A word used to express the relation of direction or tendency, with many modified and related senses.
  • In the direction of; unto; toward: indicating direction or motion toward a place, point, goal, state, condition, or position, or toward something to be done or to be treated: opposed to from.
  • As far as: indicating a point or limit reached or to be reached in space, time, or degree; expressing extent of continuance, or proceeding, or degree of comprehension, or inclusion.
  • For; unto: indicating an actual or supposed limit to movement or action, or denoting destination, design, purpose, or aim: as, the horse is broken to saddle or harness.
  • Unto: indicating a result or effect produced; denoting a consequence or end: as, he was flattered to his ruin; it was reported to her shame.
  • Upon; besides: denoting addition, contribution, or possession.
  • Upon; on: denoting contact, junction, or union.
  • Compared with: denoting comparison, proportion, or measure.
  • Against; over against: denoting opposition, contrast, or antithesis: as, to wager three to one; they engaged hand to hand.
  • In accordance, congruity, or harmony with: denoting agreement, adaptation, or adjustment: as, a plan drawn to scale; painted to the life.
  • In accompaniment with: as, she sang to his guitar.
  • In the character, quality, or shape of; for; as.
  • Regarding; concerning: as to: denoting relation: as, to plead to the charge; to speak to the question.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English ; see de- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English to ("to"), from Old English  ("to"), from Proto-Germanic *tō, *ta (“to”), from Proto-Indo-European *de, *do (“to”). Cognate with Low German to ("to"), Dutch toe ("to"), German zu ("to"), West Frisian ta ("to"). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian te ("to, at"), tu ("while, for, to").

Examples

  • When, after the dropping of the _ne_ ending, the idea of purpose had to be conveyed by the infinitive, it became usual in Elizabethan literature to place _for_ before the _to_, "And _for to_ deck heaven's battlements."

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

  • II.v. 35, &c. _That Man is not to be deemed_ imperfect, _but a Being suited to his_ place _and_ rank _in the creation, agreeable to the_ general Order _of things, and conformable to_ Ends _and_ Relations _to him unknown_.

    The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems

  • His words are, "to _yield obedience to_ the commands of a King, if against the true religion, against the ancient and fundamental laws of the land, is another sign of an ill subject:" -- "To _resist_ the lawful power of the King; to raise insurrection against the King; admit him adverse in his religion; _to conspire against his sacred person, or any ways to rebel, though commanding things against our consciences in exercising religion, or against the rights and privileges of the subject_, is an absolute sign of the disaffected and traitorous subject."

    Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • While there's something morbid about companies that do lavish holiday parties and then sever staff, it's more distressing to read that Yahoo's plan is to  eliminate whole projects and move divisions between managers.

    Susan Mernit: Yahoo Layoffs: Cutting by the Numbers, and Not Making the Same Mistakes Again

  • Pediatric exposure to sarcasm has increased dramatically over the past forty years according to the Institute for the Study of Obvious Phenomena at Bowling Green University, as filmmakers have injected subtexts in animated cartoons that can be appreciated by parents who accompany their children to  the movies, and loser adults who go by themselves.

    Literal-Minded Parents Seek Irony-Free School Zones

  • It is nearly the end of the year now, time to close the books on 1988 —            to render an accounting totals in two columns praying that the numbers tie and

    Go Yonder and Worship, part 1

  •   It is also helpful for listening to wheel bearings by touching the brass tube to the axle while the wheel is spinning,  to determine if they need to be overhauled.

    Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Bike creaking solutions

  • While there's something morbid about companies that do lavish holiday parties and then sever staff, it's more distressing to read that Yahoo's plan is to  eliminate whole projects and move divisions between managers.

    Yahoo Layoffs: Cutting by the Numbers, and Not Making the Same Mistakes Again

  • He also asked for orders to “direct” the IRS “to undertake a complete re-evaluation of the facts in this matter, begin an investigation of this matter, open a case file and take whatever steps may be necessary to determine” the validity of his information.

    Tax Informant Wins Ruling In Dillon Fortune Case

  • One day you would to call,  to ask to borrow an Allman Brothers CD.

    Your Old Untrue Love

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