to and fro
See also: to-and-fro
to-and-fro (all parts of speech except adverb)
- (dated) back and forth; with an alternating motion.
- 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night:
- But presently the fumes of the wine rising to his head, he became helplessly drunk and his side-muscles and limbs relaxed and he swayed to and fro on my back. When I saw that he had lost his senses for drunkenness, I put my head to his legs and, loosing them from my neck, stooped down well-nigh to the ground and threw him at full length, […]
- 1886, John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine, page 13:
- He bends his knees more than the white man, and oscillates more to and fro, or from side to side.
- 1979, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), IEEE Electrical Insulation Society, tAnnual report - Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, page 396:
- Even charges hopping on a larger array of localized sites than the two sites in (ii) execute normally many more to-and-fro oscillating motions than ...
back and forth
- To go back and forth; to alternate.
- (dated) Pertaining to something or someone moving forward and back to the same position.
- 1847, Peter Mere Latham, Lectures on subjects connected with clinical medicine, comprising diseases, page 90:
- The next day he had more power of moving his limbs, and the to and fro sound was thought to be a little less distinct.
pertaining to something in to and fro motion
- (dated) The movement (of someone or something) forward followed by a return to the same position. May refer to a concept such as an emotional state or a relationship as well as a physical thing.
- 1849, Ralph Erskine, Gospel sonnets; or, Spiritual songs, page 233:
- My life's a maze of seeming traps, A scene of mercies and mishaps; A heap of jarring to and fros, A field of joys, A field of woes.