hither and thither



hither and thither (not comparable)

  1. (rare, now literary) To here and to there, in a reciprocating manner.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      "Thou shalt read the hearts of men as an open writing, and hither and thither shalt thou lead them as thy pleasure listeth."
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 54
      And the passion that held Strickland was a passion to create beauty. It gave him no peace. It urged him hither and thither.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter VI:
      “A kleptomaniac,” I said. “Which means, if the term is not familiar to you, a chap who flits hither and thither pinching everything he can lay his hands on.”
  2. (figuratively) In a disorderly manner.
    • 1895 October 1, Stephen Crane, chapter 12, in The Red Badge of Courage, 1st US edition, New York: D. Appleton and Company, page 119:
      Presently, men were running hither and thither in all ways.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter V:
      It was fortunate that I was not holding a tea cup as she spoke, for hearing Sir Roderick thus addressed I gave another of my sudden starts and, had I had such a cup in my hand, must have strewn its contents hither and thither like a sower going forth sowing. As it was, I merely sent a cucumber sandwich flying through the air.