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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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to

TO, prep.

1. Noting motion towards a place; opposed to from, or placed after another word expressing motion towards. He is going to church.

2. Noting motion towards a state or condition. He is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor.

3. Noting accord or adaptation; as an occupation suited to his taste; she has a husband to her mind.

4. Noting address or compellation, or the direction of a discourse. These remarks were addressed to a large audience.

To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland;

I pledge your grace.

5. Noting attention or application.

Go, buckle to the law.

Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them. 1 Tim.4.

6. Noting addition.

Add to your faith, virtue. 2 Pet.1.

Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, courage.

7. Noting opposition. They engaged hand to hand.

8. Noting amount, rising to. They met us, to the number of three hundred.

9. Noting proportion; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty seven. It is ten to one that you will offend by your officiousness.

10. Noting possession or appropriation. We have a good seat; let us keep it to ourselves.

11. Noting perception; as a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind.

12. Noting the subject of an affirmation.

I have a king's oath to the contrary.

13. In comparison of.

All that they did was piety to this.

14. As far as.

Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten.

15. Noting intention.

--Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter.

[In this sense, for is now used.]

16. After an adjective, noting the object; as deaf to the cries of distress; alive to the sufferings of the poor. He was attentive to the company or to the discourse.

17. Noting obligation; as duty to God and to our parents.

18. Noting enmity; as a dislike to spiritus liquors.

19. Towards; as, she stretched her arms to heaven.

20. Noting effect or end. The prince was flattered to his ruin. He engaged in a war to this cost. Violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state.

Numbers were crowded to death.

21. To, as a sign of the infinitive, precedes the radical verb. Sometimes it is used instead of the ancient form, for to, noting purpose. David in his life time intended to build a temple. The legislature assembles annually to make and amend laws. The court will sit in February to try some important causes.

22. It precedes the radical verb after adjectives, noting the object; as ready to go; prompt to obey; quick to hear, but slow to censure.

23. It precedes the radical verb, noting the object.

The delay of our hopes teaches us to mortify our desires.

24. It precedes the radical verb, noting consequence.

I have done my utmost to lead my life so pleasantly as to forget my misfortunes.

25. It notes extent, degree or end. He languishes to death, even to death. The water rises to the highth of twenty feet. The line extends from one end to the other.

26. After the substantive verb, and with the radical verb, it denotes futurity. The construction, we are to meet at ten o'clock, every man at death is to receive the reward of his deeds, is a particular form of expressing future time.

27. After have, it denotes duty or necessity.

I have a debt to pay on Saturday.

28. To-day, to-night, to-morrow, are peculiar phrases derived from our ancestors. To in the two first, has the sense or force of this; this day, this night. In the last, it is equivalent to in or on; in or on the morrow. The words may be considered as compounds, to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and usually as adverbs. But sometimes they are used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.

To and from, backward and forward. In this phrase, to is adverbial.

To the face, in presence of; not in the absence of.

I withstood him face to face. Gal.2.

To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.

[Note.--In the foregoing explanation of to, it is to be considered that the definition given is not always the sense of to by itself, but the sense rather of the word preceding it, or connected with it, or of to in connection with other words. In general, to is used in the sense of moving towards a place, or towards an object, or it expresses direction towards a place, end, object or purpose.]

To is often used adverbially to modify the sense of verbs; as, to come to; to heave to. The sense of such phrases is explained under the verbs respectively.

In popular phrases like the following, "I will not come; you shall to, or too, a genuine Saxon phrase, to denotes moreover, besides, L. insuper.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [to]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

TO, prep.

1. Noting motion towards a place; opposed to from, or placed after another word expressing motion towards. He is going to church.

2. Noting motion towards a state or condition. He is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor.

3. Noting accord or adaptation; as an occupation suited to his taste; she has a husband to her mind.

4. Noting address or compellation, or the direction of a discourse. These remarks were addressed to a large audience.

To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland;

I pledge your grace.

5. Noting attention or application.

Go, buckle to the law.

Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them. 1 Tim.4.

6. Noting addition.

Add to your faith, virtue. 2 Pet.1.

Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, courage.

7. Noting opposition. They engaged hand to hand.

8. Noting amount, rising to. They met us, to the number of three hundred.

9. Noting proportion; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty seven. It is ten to one that you will offend by your officiousness.

10. Noting possession or appropriation. We have a good seat; let us keep it to ourselves.

11. Noting perception; as a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind.

12. Noting the subject of an affirmation.

I have a king's oath to the contrary.

13. In comparison of.

All that they did was piety to this.

14. As far as.

Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten.

15. Noting intention.

--Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter.

[In this sense, for is now used.]

16. After an adjective, noting the object; as deaf to the cries of distress; alive to the sufferings of the poor. He was attentive to the company or to the discourse.

17. Noting obligation; as duty to God and to our parents.

18. Noting enmity; as a dislike to spiritus liquors.

19. Towards; as, she stretched her arms to heaven.

20. Noting effect or end. The prince was flattered to his ruin. He engaged in a war to this cost. Violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state.

Numbers were crowded to death.

21. To, as a sign of the infinitive, precedes the radical verb. Sometimes it is used instead of the ancient form, for to, noting purpose. David in his life time intended to build a temple. The legislature assembles annually to make and amend laws. The court will sit in February to try some important causes.

22. It precedes the radical verb after adjectives, noting the object; as ready to go; prompt to obey; quick to hear, but slow to censure.

23. It precedes the radical verb, noting the object.

The delay of our hopes teaches us to mortify our desires.

24. It precedes the radical verb, noting consequence.

I have done my utmost to lead my life so pleasantly as to forget my misfortunes.

25. It notes extent, degree or end. He languishes to death, even to death. The water rises to the highth of twenty feet. The line extends from one end to the other.

26. After the substantive verb, and with the radical verb, it denotes futurity. The construction, we are to meet at ten o'clock, every man at death is to receive the reward of his deeds, is a particular form of expressing future time.

27. After have, it denotes duty or necessity.

I have a debt to pay on Saturday.

28. To-day, to-night, to-morrow, are peculiar phrases derived from our ancestors. To in the two first, has the sense or force of this; this day, this night. In the last, it is equivalent to in or on; in or on the morrow. The words may be considered as compounds, to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and usually as adverbs. But sometimes they are used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.

To and from, backward and forward. In this phrase, to is adverbial.

To the face, in presence of; not in the absence of.

I withstood him face to face. Gal.2.

To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.

[Note.--In the foregoing explanation of to, it is to be considered that the definition given is not always the sense of to by itself, but the sense rather of the word preceding it, or connected with it, or of to in connection with other words. In general, to is used in the sense of moving towards a place, or towards an object, or it expresses direction towards a place, end, object or purpose.]

To is often used adverbially to modify the sense of verbs; as, to come to; to heave to. The sense of such phrases is explained under the verbs respectively.

In popular phrases like the following, "I will not come; you shall to, or too, a genuine Saxon phrase, to denotes moreover, besides, L. insuper.


TO, prep. [Sax. to; D. te or toe; G. zu; Ir. and Gaelic, do; Corn. tho. This is probably a contracted word, but from what verb it is not easy to ascertain. The sense is obvious; it denotes passing, moving toward. The pronunciation is to or too, and this depends much on its application or its emphasis.]

  1. Noting motion toward a place; opposed to from, or placed after another word expressing motion toward. He is going to church.
  2. Noting motion toward a state or condition. He is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor.
  3. Noting accord or adaptation; as, an occupation suited to his taste; she has a husband to her mind.
  4. Noting address or compellation, or the direction of a discourse. These remarks were addressed to a large audience. To you, my noble lord of Westmoreland; / I pledge your grace. Shak.
  5. Noting attention or application. Go, buckle to the law. Dryden. Meditate on these things; give yourself wholly to them. 1 Tim. iv.
  6. Noting addition. Add to your faith, virtue. 2 Pet. i. Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, knowledge. Denham.
  7. Noting opposition. They engaged hand to hand.
  8. Noting amount, rising to. They met us, to the number of three hundred.
  9. Noting proportion; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty seven. It is ten to one that you will offend by your officiousness.
  10. Noting possession or appropriation. We have a good seat; let us keep it to ourselves.
  11. Noting perception; as, a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind.
  12. Noting the subject of an affirmation. I have a king's oath to the contrary. Shak.
  13. In comparison of. All that they did was piety to this. B. Jonson.
  14. As far as. Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten. Quart. Rev.
  15. Noting intention. Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter. B. Jonson. [In this sense, for is now used.]
  16. After an adjective, noting the object; as, deaf to the cries of distress; alive to the sufferings of the poor. He was attentive to the company, or to the discourse.
  17. Noting obligation; as, duty to God, and to our parents.
  18. Noting enmity; as, a dislike to spirituous liquors.
  19. Toward; as, she stretched her arms to heaven. Dryden.
  20. Noting effect or end. The prince was flattered to his ruin. He engaged in a war to his cost. Violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state. Numbers were crowded to death. Clarendon.
  21. To, as a sign of the infinitive, precedes the radical verb. Sometimes it is used instead of the ancient form, for to, noting purpose. David in his life-time intended to build a temple. The legislature assembles annually to make and amend laws. The court will sit in February to try some important causes.
  22. It precedes the radical verb after adjectives, voting the object; as, ready to go; prompt to obey; quiet to hear, but slow to censure.
  23. It precedes the radical verb, noting the object. The delay of our hopes teaches us to mortify our desires. Smallridge.
  24. It precedes the radical verb, noting consequence. I have done my utmost to lead my life so pleasantly as to forget my misfortunes. Pope.
  25. It notes extent, degree or end. He languishes to death, even to death. The water rises to the highth of twenty feet. The line extends from one end to the other.
  26. After the substantive verb, and with the radical verb, it denotes futurity. The construction, we are to meet at ten o'clock, every man at death is to receive the reward of his deeds, is a particular form of expressing future time.
  27. After have, it denotes duty or necessity. I have a debt to pay on Saturday.
  28. To-day, to-night, to-morrow, are peculiar phrases derived from our ancestors. To in the two first, has the sense or force of this; this day, this night. In the last, it is equivalent to in or on; in or on the morrow. The words may be considered as compounds, to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and usually as adverbs. But sometimes they are used as nouns; as, to-day is ours. Cowley. To and fro, backward and forward. In this phrase, to is adverbial. To the face, in presence of; not in the absence of. I withstood him face to face. Gal. ii. To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow; / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. Shak. Note. In the foregoing explanation of to, it is to be considered that the definition given is not always the sense of to by itself, but the sense rather of the word preceding it, or connected with it, or of to in connection with other words. In general, to is used in the sense of moving toward a place, or toward an object, or it expresses direction toward a place, end, object or purpose. To is often used adverbially to modify the sense of verbs; as, to come to; to heave to. The sense of such phrases is explained under the verbs respectively. In popular phrases like the following, “I will not come; you shall to, or too,” a genuine Saxon phrase, to denotes moreover, besides, L. insuper.

To-
  1. An obsolete intensive prefix used in the formation of compound verbs; as in to-beat, to-break, to-hew, to- rend, to-tear. See these words in the Vocabulary. See the Note on All to, or All-to, under All, adv.
  2. 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.

    Stay with us, go not to Wittenberg. Shak.

    So to the sylvan lodge
    They came, that like Pomona's arbor smiled.
    Milton.

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

  3. 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.

    * 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.

  4. 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.

    Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter. B. Jonson.

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

    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.

    I have a king's oath to the contrary. Shak.

    Numbers were crowded to death. Clarendon.

    Fate and the dooming gods are deaf to tears. Dryden.

    Go, buckle to the law. Dryden.

  5. 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).

    Then longen folk to go on pilgrimages,
    And palmers for to seeken strange stranders.
    Chaucer.

    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.

  6. 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)
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To

TO, preposition

1. Noting motion towards a place; opposed to from, or placed after another word expressing motion towards. He is going to church.

2. Noting motion towards a state or condition. He is going to a trade; he is rising to wealth and honor.

3. Noting accord or adaptation; as an occupation suited to his taste; she has a husband to her mind.

4. Noting address or compellation, or the direction of a discourse. These remarks were addressed to a large audience.

TO you, my noble lord of Westmoreland;

I pledge your grace.

5. Noting attention or application.

Go, buckle to the law.

Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them. 1 Timothy 4:1.

6. Noting addition.

Add to your faith, virtue. 2 Peter 1:1.

Wisdom he has, and to his wisdom, courage.

7. Noting opposition. They engaged hand to hand.

8. Noting amount, rising to They met us, to the number of three hundred.

9. Noting proportion; as, three is to nine as nine is to twenty seven. It is ten to one that you will offend by your officiousness.

10. Noting possession or appropriation. We have a good seat; let us keep it to ourselves.

11. Noting perception; as a substance sweet to the taste; an event painful to the mind.

12. Noting the subject of an affirmation.

I have a king's oath to the contrary.

13. In comparison of.

All that they did was piety to this.

14. As far as.

Few of the Esquimaux can count to ten.

15. Noting intention.

--Marks and points out each man of us to slaughter.

[In this sense, for is now used.]

16. After an adjective, noting the object; as deaf to the cries of distress; alive to the sufferings of the poor. He was attentive to the company or to the discourse.

17. Noting obligation; as duty to God and to our parents.

18. Noting enmity; as a dislike to spiritus liquors.

19. Towards; as, she stretched her arms to heaven.

20. Noting effect or end. The prince was flattered to his ruin. He engaged in a war to this cost. Violent factions exist to the prejudice of the state.

Numbers were crowded to death.

21. to as a sign of the infinitive, precedes the radical verb. Sometimes it is used instead of the ancient form, for to noting purpose. David in his life time intended to build a temple. The legislature assembles annually to make and amend laws. The court will sit in February to try some important causes.

22. It precedes the radical verb after adjectives, noting the object; as ready to go; prompt to obey; quick to hear, but slow to censure.

23. It precedes the radical verb, noting the object.

The delay of our hopes teaches us to mortify our desires.

24. It precedes the radical verb, noting consequence.

I have done my utmost to lead my life so pleasantly as to forget my misfortunes.

25. It notes extent, degree or end. He languishes to death, even to death. The water rises to the highth of twenty feet. The line extends from one end to the other.

26. After the substantive verb, and with the radical verb, it denotes futurity. The construction, we are to meet at ten o'clock, every man at death is to receive the reward of his deeds, is a particular form of expressing future time.

27. After have, it denotes duty or necessity.

I have a debt to pay on Saturday.

28. To-day, to-night, to-morrow, are peculiar phrases derived from our ancestors. to in the two first, has the sense or force of this; this day, this night. In the last, it is equivalent to in or on; in or on the morrow. The words may be considered as compounds, to-day, to-night, to-morrow, and usually as adverbs. But sometimes they are used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.

TO and from, backward and forward. In this phrase, to is adverbial.

TO the face, in presence of; not in the absence of.

I withstood him face to face. Galatians 2:1.

To-morrow, to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.

[Note.--In the foregoing explanation of to it is to be considered that the definition given is not always the sense of to by itself, but the sense rather of the word preceding it, or connected with it, or of to in connection with other words. In general, to is used in the sense of moving towards a place, or towards an object, or it expresses direction towards a place, end, object or purpose.]

TO is often used adverbially to modify the sense of verbs; as, to come to; to heave to The sense of such phrases is explained under the verbs respectively.

In popular phrases like the following, 'I will not come; you shall to or too, a genuine Saxon phrase, to denotes moreover, besides, Latin insuper.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

riffraff

RIFF'RAFF, n. Sweepings; refuse.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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