- a native English suffix denoting spatial or temporal direction, as specified by the initial element: toward; seaward; afterward; backward.
Origin of -ward
- (forming adjectives) indicating direction towardsa backward step; heavenward progress
- (forming adverbs) a variant and the usual US and Canadian form of -wards
Word Origin and History for -ward
adverbial suffix expressing direction, Old English -weard "toward," literally "turned toward," sometimes -weardes, with genitive singular ending of neuter adjectives, from Proto-Germanic *warth (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian -ward, Old Norse -verðr), variant of PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). The original notion is of "turned toward."