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.