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to / toō/ • prep. 1. expressing motion in the direction of (a particular location): walking down to the mall my first visit to Africa. ∎  expressing location, typically in relation to a specified point of reference: forty miles to the south of the site place the cursor to the left of the first word. ∎  expressing a point reached at the end of a range or after a period of time: a drop in profits from $105 million to around $75 million from 1938 to 1945. ∎  (in telling the time) before (the hour specified): it's five to ten. ∎  approaching or reaching (a particular condition): Christopher's expression changed from amazement to joy she was close to tears. ∎  expressing the result of a process or action: smashed to smithereens. 2. identifying the person or thing affected: you were terribly unkind to her. ∎  identifying the recipient or intended recipient of something: he wrote a heart-rending letter to the parents I am deeply grateful to my parents. 3. identifying a particular relationship between one person and another: he is married to Jan's cousin economic adviser to the president. ∎  in various phrases indicating how something is related to something else (often followed by a noun without a determiner): made to order a prelude to disaster. ∎  indicating a rate of return on something, e.g., the distance traveled in exchange for fuel used, or an exchange rate that can be obtained in one currency for another: it only does ten miles to the gallon. ∎  (to the) Math. indicating the power (exponent) to which a number is raised: ten to the minus thirty-three. 4. indicating that two things are attached: he had left his bike chained to a fence| fig. they are inextricably linked to this island. 5. concerning or likely to concern (something, esp. something abstract): a threat to world peace a reference to Psalm 22:18. 6. governing a phrase expressing someone's reaction to something: to her astonishment, he smiled. 7. used to introduce the second element in a comparison: it's nothing to what it once was. • infinitive marker 1. used with the base form of a verb to indicate that the verb is in the infinitive, in particular: ∎  expressing purpose or intention: I set out to buy food we tried to help I am going to tell you a story. ∎  expressing an outcome, result, or consequence: he was left to die he managed to escape. ∎  expressing a cause: I'm sorry to hear that. ∎  indicating a desired or advisable action: I'd love to go to France this summer we asked her to explain the leaflet explains how to start a recycling program. ∎  indicating a proposition that is known, believed, or reported about a specified person or thing: a house that people believed to be haunted. ∎  (about to) forming a future tense with reference to the immediate future: he was about to sing. ∎  after a noun, indicating its function or purpose: a chair to sit on something to eat. ∎  after a phrase containing an ordinal number: the first person to arrive. 2. used without a verb following when the missing verb is clearly understood: he asked her to come but she said she didn't want to. • adv. so as to be closed or nearly closed: he pulled the door to behind him.

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