towards


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with an eye towards

Focused on a particular thing that could happen in the future. With an eye towards fund-raising, I made sure to talk to all the trustees I could at the event. We moved back in with my parents, with an eye towards saving up for a house.
See also: eye, towards

go a long way toward (something)

To be very helpful in achieving some goal. Don't do anything rash—patience will go a long way toward bringing you allies in this situation.
See also: go, long, toward, way

progress toward (something)

To be in the process of reaching a particular destination, outcome, or goal. (Usually used in the continuous tense.) With the game progressing toward its conclusion, it seems like the reigning champions will walk away with another victory. The committee is progressing toward the end of its investigation.
See also: progress, toward

be (well) on the/(one's) way to/towards (something)

To be approaching a particular goal or outcome. With another stellar report card, you are well on your way to becoming valedictorian. He's on the way toward stardom after that performance.
See also: on, towards, way

make toward (something)

To move in the direction toward some place, often hastily or in order to flee. They made toward the storm cellar as quickly as they could. It's getting dark, so we'd better make toward camp.
See also: make, toward

point toward (someone or something)

1. To indicate or signify the direction or location of someone or something. We've set up arrows pointing toward the house to help guests who are unfamiliar with the area. If you rest the needle on the surface of water, it will point toward magnetic north.
2. To make a physical signal, especially with one's index finger, to indicate the direction or location of someone or something. Tom pointed toward the trees behind the cabin when Peter asked where the bathroom was. Everyone pointed toward Sarah when the boss asked who had broken the printer.
3. To face the direction of someone or something. We want the back porch to be pointing toward the point on the horizon where the sun sets. You always want the front of your body pointing toward the audience, otherwise they will have trouble hearing you.
4. To move something so that it faces the direction of someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "point" and "toward." He pointed his light toward the window so that she would see it from her bedroom. She pointed the stereo toward the meeting room so we could all hear the outcome of the game.
5. To draw someone's attention toward or inform someone about the direction of someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "point" and "toward." Excuse me, could you please point me toward the train station? He pointed me toward the exit when I asked if they had any job openings.
See also: point, toward

tend toward (something)

To have a tendency or be inclined or disposed to display some behavior or characteristic. The author's work tends toward the harsh, gloomy realities of the world, but she always maintains a vein of persistent hopefulness in all her stories. His fiscal policies tend toward conservatism, while his social policies tend toward liberalism.
See also: tend, toward

veer toward (someone or something)

To turn or swerve suddenly or sharply in the direction of someone or something. Thankfully I saw the van veering toward us, and we were able to get out of its way in time. The stampeding animals suddenly veered toward the ravine.
See also: toward, veer

work toward

1. To expend the time, effort, and energy required to reach or achieve some particular goal or position. Sarah's been working toward a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. I'm really working toward a promotion at the moment, so I've kind of let my social life go by the wayside.
2. To exert oneself physically in order to reach or move in the direction of someone or something. The conditions were become worse by the second, but I had to keep working toward the campsite.
3. To exert oneself physically in the attempt to move something in the direction of someone or something, especially very slowly or in incremental degrees. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "work" and "to." We all helped to work the giant stone slab toward the bed of the truck. I was on my own, so I just took my time and worked the old washing machine toward the curb.
See also: toward, work

lean toward (someone or something)

1. To bend, tilt, or incline in the direction of someone or something. I tried leaning toward the door to hear what they were talking about in the other room. She leaned toward Tom and whispered something in his ear.
2. To have a slight preference for or inclination toward someone, something, or some action. Usually used in a continuous tense. We're leaning toward keeping the company privately held. I'm leaning toward a laptop rather than a desktop computer. We're still leaning toward Jeff, but we still have a few more people to interview for the job.
See also: lean, toward

look toward

1. To glance, gaze, or turn one's face in the direction of someone or something. I looked toward the door and saw my bride entering the chapel. If you'll all look toward the chalkboard on the right, you can see a diagram of how osmosis works. Everyone on the boat looked toward the whales breaching off the starboard side.
2. To consider, regard, or think about something. We're looking toward the future with this broad range of investments our company is making. I've begun looking toward an alternative production method.
See also: look, toward

lurch toward (someone or something)

To move toward someone or something abruptly and in a staggering, erratic, or unsteady manner. The drunken man lurched at the door as he went to leave, nearly collapsing on the floor in the process. We kept lurching at one another as the bock rocked violently in the waves.
See also: lurch, toward

save toward (something)

To put money aside for some particular purpose or purchase in the future. A noun or pronoun can be used between "save" and "toward." We need to start saving toward a new car. I hope we've saved enough money toward this vacation.
See also: save, toward

slant toward (someone or something)

1. To lean, tilt, or incline in the direction of someone or something. His eyelids began to droop as he started slanting toward me in his chair. Is it just me, or is the north wall slanting slightly toward the road?
2. To hold, represent, or play into a bias in favor or support of someone or something. While the newspaper typically slants toward more conservative viewpoints, it has come out in favor of the governor's plan to increase taxes The group has always slanted toward federal deregulation and the autonomy of citizens, being very vocal in its opposition of governmental control or interference.
3. To write or present something in such a way as to form, represent, or play into a bias in favor or support of someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "slant" and "toward." Please try to keep your writing neutral—we don't want you slanting your articles toward any politicians or political parties. Purporting itself to simply be presenting facts, it's pretty clear the director has slanted the documentary toward the convicts who claim they were framed by the state.
See also: slant, toward

steer toward (something)

1. To guide or aim a vehicle in the direction of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "steer" and "toward" to specify what is being driven. Keep the boat steady and toward the lighthouse. The police officer told me to steer the car toward a checkpoint on the side of the road. The pilot began steering the plane toward the nearest airport.
2. To attempt to convince or persuade someone to choose, consider, or become involved with someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "steer" and "toward." Mary said she wanted to go out with Mark, but I tried to steer her toward Mike instead. These pushy salespeople always try to steer you toward the more expensive options. I always try to steer my clients toward sensible investments that will yield steady, long-term growth.
See also: steer, toward

sway toward (something)

1. To incline, bend, or veer toward someone or something or in some particular direction. The huge tree swayed toward the house in the gale force winds. I watched the car ahead of me sway toward the curb.
2. To become inclined to do something, especially as a change or in contrast to a previous decision or inclination. Typically followed by a continuous verb. We are swaying toward withdrawing our company from the summit. He briefly swayed toward moving back home with his parents to save some money, but he decided in the end that he couldn't bear to do it.
3. To become inclined to adopt, embrace, or decide on something. Public opinion has swayed toward the controversial figure in recent months. I'm still not sure where I want to go for my vacation, but I am swaying toward Hawaii.
4. To convince, persuade, or influence someone to do something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sway" and "to." Typically followed by a continuous verb. Against all odds, she somehow managed to sway the board toward accepting her proposal. I'll try to sway the district attorney toward dropping the charges.
5. To convince, persuade, or influence someone to adopt, embrace some position. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sway" and "to." No amount of flattery is going to sway my father toward your side on this issue. There are some people whom you'll never sway toward the truth. They are just too committed to their worldview to allow it to be challenged.
See also: sway, toward

swim toward (someone or something)

To move toward someone or something by swimming. We began swimming toward shore when we saw the dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon. That's it, sweetie! Keep kicking you legs and paddling with your arms as you swim toward me.
See also: swim, toward

go toward (someone or something)

1. To move forward or maneuver toward a location or goal The army went toward the enemy capital. Last time I saw them, they were going toward the library.
2. To be designated or used for a particular purpose. Typically said of money. My graduation money will go toward those car repairs I desperately need.
See also: go, toward

look toward someone or something

to face in the direction of someone or something. Look toward Sarah and see where she is standing. Isn't that a lovely garden she's in? Look toward the sea and see what a sunset is meant to look like.
See also: look, toward

work toward something

 
1. . to progress toward a goal, such as a promotion. He was working toward a position with the new company. She was working toward a law degree when the accident happened.
2. . to struggle physically to move toward something or some place. The turtle worked toward the water despite the hot sun. I worked toward the cabin in the forest, fighting mosquitoes all the way.
See also: toward, work

be (well) on the/your way to/towards something

be about to achieve something in the near future (usually something good): We’re on the way towards an election victory.He’s well on the way to establishing himself among the top ten players in the world.
See also: on, something, towards, way

go a long/some way towards doing something

help very much/a little in achieving something: The new law goes a long way towards solving the problem.
See also: go, long, something, towards, way

work toward

v.
1. To exert oneself in order to achieve some goal: I enrolled in college last year and I am working toward a degree in medicine.
2. To move something or someone in the direction of something or someone by exerting effort: I caught a large fish on my line and slowly worked it toward the boat.
See also: toward, work
References in classic literature ?
The crowd far away on the left, towards Woking, seemed to grow, and I heard now a faint murmur from it.
This smoke (or flame, perhaps, would be the better word for it) was so bright that the deep blue sky overhead and the hazy stretches of brown common towards Chertsey, set with black pine trees, seemed to darken abruptly as these puffs arose, and to remain the darker after their dispersal.
cried Tardos Mors, and a moment later we fell back toward the runway that led to the floors above.
It was such a pack of scoundrels that Bududreen led toward the north campong to bear away the treasure.
Toward the southeast of Gathol was such a country, and as Gahan surmised the direction and the velocity of the storm to have carried him somewhere in the vicinity of the country he thought he recognized, he assumed that Gathol lay behind the hills he now saw, whereas, in reality, it lay far to the northeast.
In his insistent crawling toward the light, he discovered in her a nose that with a sharp nudge administered rebuke, and later, a paw, that crushed him down and rolled him over and over with swift, calculating stroke.
Then he turned and retraced his steps toward the palace, leaving her alone in the midst of the unseen terrors of the haunted city, for in truth these places are haunted in the belief of many Martians who still cling to an ancient superstition which teaches that the spirits of Holy Therns who die before their allotted one thousand years, pass, on occasions, into the bodies of the great white apes.
Tarzan of the Apes is a fool and a weak, old woman," and he turned back toward the south.
It is enough that within another minute or two, Tars Tarkas, wearing the metal of a Warhoon chief, was hurrying down the corridor toward the spiral runway, bearing the Warhoon's torch to light his way.
The first few villages he came to were deserted, showing that news of the coming of his pack had travelled rapidly; but toward evening he came upon a distant cluster of thatched huts surrounded by a rude palisade, within which were a couple of hundred natives.
The lidi, with the hounds running close on either side, had almost disappeared in the darkness that en-veloped the surrounding landscape, when I noted that it was bearing toward the right.
The balance of those on deck replied to our small-arms fire, directing their efforts toward the man at our wheel.
For a time no one turned back toward the thing that had frightened them, but Tarzan knew that they would in a moment, and when they discovered that it was but the dead body of their sentry, while they would doubtless be still further terrified, he had a rather definite idea as to what they would do, and so he faded silently away toward the south, taking the moonlit upper terrace back toward the camp of the Waziri.
La raised her slender arm and pointed toward the sun.
When we came down to drink I knew that no danger lurked near upon this side of the water hole, for else the zebras would have discovered it and fled before we came; but upon the other side toward which the wind blows danger might lie concealed.
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