Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tō; akin to Old High German zuo to, Latin donec as long as, until
Date: before 12th century
a. — used as a function word to indicate movement or an action or condition suggestive of movement toward a place, person, or thing reached <drove to the city> <went back to the original idea> <went to lunch> b. — used as a function word to indicate direction <a mile to the south> <turned his back to the door> <a tendency to silliness> c. — used as a function word to indicate contact or proximity <applied polish to the table> <put her hand to her heart> d. (1) — used as a function word to indicate the place or point that is the far limit <100 miles to the nearest town> (2) — used as a function word to indicate the limit of extent <stripped to the waist> e. — used as a function word to indicate relative position <perpendicular to the floor> 2. a. — used as a function word to indicate purpose, intention, tendency, result, or end <came to our aid> <drink to his health> b. — used as a function word to indicate the result of an action or a process <broken all to pieces> <go to seed> <to their surprise, the train left on time> 3. — used as a function word to indicate position or relation in time: as a. before <five minutes to five> b. till <from eight to five> <up to now> 4. — used as a function word to indicate addition, attachment, connection, belonging, possession, accompaniment, or response <the key to the door> <danced to live music> <comes to her call> 5. — used as a function word (1) to indicate the extent or degree (as of completeness or accuracy) <loyal to a man> <generous to a fault> or the extent and result (as of an action or a condition) <beaten to death> (2) to indicate the last or an intermediate point of a series <moderate to cool temperatures> 6. a. — used as a function word (1) to indicate a relation to one that serves as a standard <inferior to her earlier works> (2) to indicate similarity, correspondence, dissimilarity, or proportion <compared him to a god> b. — used as a function word to indicate agreement or conformity <add salt to taste> <to my knowledge> c. — used as a function word to indicate a proportion in terms of numbers or quantities <400 to the box> <odds of ten to one> 7. a. — used as a function word (1) to indicate the application of an adjective or a noun <agreeable to everyone> <attitude to friends> <title to the property> (2) to indicate the relation of a verb to its complement or to a complementary element <refers to the traditions> <refers us to the traditions> (3) to indicate the receiver of an action or the one for which something is done or exists <spoke to his mother> <gives a dollar to the man> and often used with a reflexive pronoun to indicate exclusiveness (as of possession) or separateness <had the house to themselves> <thought to herself> b. — used as a function word to indicate agency <falls to his opponent's blows> 8. — used as a function word to indicate that the following verb is an infinitive <wants to go> and often used by itself at the end of a clause in place of an infinitive suggested by the preceding context <knows more than she seems to> II. adverb Date: before 12th century 1. a. — used as a function word to indicate direction toward <feathers wrong end to> <run to and fro> b. close to the wind <the gale having gone over, we came to — R. H. Dana> 2. a. into contact especially with the frame — used of a door or a window <the door snapped to> b. — used as a function word to indicate physical application or attachment <he…hath set to his seal — John 3:33(Authorized Version)> 3. — used as a function word to indicate application or attention <will stand to — Shakespeare> 4. to a state of consciousness or awareness <brings her to with smelling salts> 5. at hand ; by <get to see 'em close to — Richard Llewellyn>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.