Definition of to preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE////
    ; NAmE NAmE////
    ; BrE before vowels BrE//tu//
    ; NAmE before vowels NAmE//tu//
    ; BrE strong form BrE//tuː//
    ; NAmE strong form NAmE//tuː//
    For the special uses of to in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example see to something is in the phrasal verb section at see.
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  1. 1  in the direction of something; towards something I walked to the office. It fell to the ground. It was on the way to the station. He's going to Paris. my first visit to Africa He pointed to something on the opposite bank. Her childhood was spent travelling from place to place.
  2. 2  to the something (of something) located in the direction mentioned from something Place the cursor to the left of the first word. There are mountains to the north.
  3. 3  as far as something The meadows lead down to the river. Her hair fell to her waist.
  4. 4  reaching a particular state The vegetables were cooked to perfection. He tore the letter to pieces. She sang the baby to sleep. The letter reduced her to tears (= made her cry). His expression changed from amazement to joy.
  5. 5  used to show the end or limit of a range or period of time a drop in profits from $105 million to around $75 million I'd say he was 25 to 30 years old (= approximately 25 or 30 years old). I like all kinds of music from opera to reggae. We only work from Monday to Friday. I watched the programme from beginning to end.
  6. 6  before the start of something How long is it to lunch? (especially British English) It's five to ten (= five minutes before ten o'clock).
  7. 7  used to show the person or thing that receives something He gave it to his sister. I'll explain to you where everything goes. I am deeply grateful to my parents. Who did she address the letter to? (formal) To whom did she address the letter?
  8. 8  used to show the person or thing that is affected by an action She is devoted to her family. What have you done to your hair?
  9. 9  used to show that two things are attached or connected Attach this rope to the front of the car.
  10. 10  used to show a relationship between one person or thing and another She's married to an Italian. the Japanese ambassador to France the key to the door the solution to this problem
  11. 11  directed towards; concerning It was a threat to world peace. She made a reference to her recent book.
  12. 12  used to introduce the second part of a comparison or ratio I prefer walking to climbing. The industry today is nothing to what it once was. We won by six goals to three.
  13. 13  used to show a quantity or rate There are 2.54 centimetres to an inch. This car does 30 miles to the gallon. compare per
  14. 14  in honour of somebody/something a monument to the soldiers who died in the war Let's drink to Julia and her new job.
  15. 15while something else is happening or being done He left the stage to prolonged applause.
  16. 16used after verbs of movement to mean ‘with the intention of giving something’ People rushed to her rescue and picked her up.
  17. 17  used to show somebody’s attitude or reaction to something His music isn't really to my taste. To her astonishment, he smiled.
  18. 18  used to show what somebody’s opinion or feeling about something is It sounded like crying to me.
  19. Word OriginOld English (adverb and preposition), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch toe and German zu.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: to