to

[too; unstressed too, tuh]

preposition

adverb


Idioms

    to and fro. fro(def 2).

Origin of to

before 900; Middle English, Old English tō; cognate with Dutch te, toe, German zu
Can be confusedto too two

t.o.

turn over.

T.O.

or TO

telegraph office.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for to

facing, into, through, toward, via, before, on, over, upon, till, so, back, becoming, until

British Dictionary definitions for to

to

1

preposition

used to indicate the destination of the subject or object of an actionhe climbed to the top
used to mark the indirect object of a verb in a sentencetelling stories to children
used to mark the infinitive of a verbhe wanted to go
as far as; untilworking from Monday to Friday
used to indicate equality16 ounces to the pound
against; upon; ontoput your ear to the wall
before the hour offive minutes to four
accompanied bydancing to loud music
as compared with, as againstthe score was eight to three
used to indicate a resulting conditionhe tore her dress to shreds; they starved to death
a dialect word for at 1 he's to town; where's it to?

adverb

towards a fixed position, esp (of a door) closed

Word Origin for to

Old English tō; related to Old Frisian, Old Saxon to, Old High German zuo, Latin do- as in dōnec until

to

2

the internet domain name for

Tonga
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for to
prep.

Old English to "in the direction of, for the purpose of, furthermore," from West Germanic *to (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian to, Dutch too, Old High German zuo, German zu "to"), from PIE pronomial base *do- "to, toward, upward" (cf. Latin donec "as long as," Old Church Slavonic do "as far as, to," Greek suffix -de "to, toward," Old Irish do, Lithuanian da-).

In Old English, the preposition (go to town) leveled with the adverb (the door slammed to) except where the adverb retained its stress (tired and hungry too); there it came to be written with -oo (see too).

The nearly universal use of to with infinitives (to sleep, to dream, etc.) arose in Middle English out of the Old English dative use of to, and it helped drive out the Old English inflectional endings (though in this use to itself is a mere sign, without meaning).

Commonly used as a prefix in Middle English (to-hear "listen to," etc.), but few of these survive (to-do, together, and time references such as today, tonight, tomorrow -- Chaucer also has to-yeere). To and fro "side to side" is attested from mid-14c. Phrase what's it to you "how does that concern you?" goes back a long way:

Huæd is ðec ðæs?
[John xxi:22, in Lindisfarne Gospel, c.950]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper