To wit
To To (?, emphatic or alone, ?, obscure or unemphatic), prep. [AS. t[=o]; akin to OS. & OFries. t[=o], D. toe, G. zu, OHG. zuo, zua, z[=o], Russ. do, Ir. & Gael. do, OL. -do, -du, as in endo, indu, in, Gr. ?, as in ? homeward. [root]200. Cf. {Too}, {Tatoo} a beat of drums.] 1. The preposition to primarily indicates approach and arrival, motion made in the direction of a place or thing and attaining it, access; and also, motion or tendency without arrival; movement toward; -- opposed to {from}. ``To Canterbury they wend.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Stay with us, go not to Wittenberg. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbor smiled. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

I'll to him again, . . . He'll tell me all his purpose. She stretched her arms to heaven. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, it indicates motion, course, or tendency toward a time, a state or condition, an aim, or anything capable of being regarded as a limit to a tendency, movement, or action; as, he is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor. [1913 Webster]

Note: Formerly, by omission of the verb denoting motion, to sometimes followed a form of be, with the sense of at, or in. ``When the sun was [gone or declined] to rest.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

3. In a very general way, and with innumerable varieties of application, to connects transitive verbs with their remoter or indirect object, and adjectives, nouns, and neuter or passive verbs with a following noun which limits their action. Its sphere verges upon that of for, but it contains less the idea of design or appropriation; as, these remarks were addressed to a large audience; let us keep this seat to ourselves; a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind; duty to God and to our parents; a dislike to spirituous liquor. [1913 Webster]

Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

Whilst they, distilled Almost to jelly with the act of fear, Stand dumb and speak not to him. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. --2 Pet. i. 5,6,7. [1913 Webster]

I have a king's oath to the contrary. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Numbers were crowded to death. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

Fate and the dooming gods are deaf to tears. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Go, buckle to the law. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. As sign of the infinitive, to had originally the use of last defined, governing the infinitive as a verbal noun, and connecting it as indirect object with a preceding verb or adjective; thus, ready to go, i.e., ready unto going; good to eat, i.e., good for eating; I do my utmost to lead my life pleasantly. But it has come to be the almost constant prefix to the infinitive, even in situations where it has no prepositional meaning, as where the infinitive is direct object or subject; thus, I love to learn, i.e., I love learning; to die for one's country is noble, i.e., the dying for one's country. Where the infinitive denotes the design or purpose, good usage formerly allowed the prefixing of for to the to; as, what went ye out for see? (--Matt. xi. 8). [1913 Webster]

Then longen folk to go on pilgrimages, And palmers for to seeken strange stranders. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Note: Such usage is now obsolete or illiterate. In colloquial usage, to often stands for, and supplies, an infinitive already mentioned; thus, he commands me to go with him, but I do not wish to. [1913 Webster]

5. In many phrases, and in connection with many other words, to has a pregnant meaning, or is used elliptically. Thus, it denotes or implies: (a) Extent; limit; degree of comprehension; inclusion as far as; as, they met us to the number of three hundred. [1913 Webster]

We ready are to try our fortunes To the last man. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten. --Quant. Rev. [1913 Webster] (b) Effect; end; consequence; as, the prince was flattered to his ruin; he engaged in a war to his cost; violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state. (c) Apposition; connection; antithesis; opposition; as, they engaged hand to hand. [1913 Webster]

Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. --1 Cor. xiii. 12. [1913 Webster] (d) Accord; adaptation; as, an occupation to his taste; she has a husband to her mind. [1913 Webster]

He to God's image, she to his was made. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (e) Comparison; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty-seven; it is ten to one that you will offend him. [1913 Webster]

All that they did was piety to this. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] (f) Addition; union; accumulation. [1913 Webster]

Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, courage. --Denham. [1913 Webster] (g) Accompaniment; as, she sang to his guitar; they danced to the music of a piano. [1913 Webster]

Anon they move In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Of flutes and soft recorders. --Milton. [1913 Webster] (h) Character; condition of being; purpose subserved or office filled. [In this sense archaic] ``I have a king here to my flatterer.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Made his masters and others . . . to consider him to a little wonder. --Walton. [1913 Webster]

Note: To in to-day, to-night, and to-morrow has the sense or force of for or on; for, or on, (this) day, for, or on, (this) night, for, or on, (the) morrow. To-day, to-night, to-morrow may be considered as compounds, and usually as adverbs; but they are sometimes used as nouns; as, to-day is ours. [1913 Webster]

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow; Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To and again}, to and fro. [R.]

{To and fro}, forward and back. In this phrase, to is adverbial. [1913 Webster]

There was great showing both to and fro. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{To-and-fro}, a pacing backward and forward; as, to commence a to-and-fro. --Tennyson.

{To the face}, in front of; in behind; hence, in the presence of.

{To wit}, to know; namely. See {Wit}, v. i. [1913 Webster]

Note: To, without an object expressed, is used adverbially; as, put to the door, i. e., put the door to its frame, close it; and in the nautical expressions, to heave to, to come to, meaning to a certain position. To, like on, is sometimes used as a command, forward, set to. ``To, Achilles! to, Ajax! to!'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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