hither and thither

hither

[hith-er]
adverb
1.
to or toward this place: to come hither.
adjective
2.
being on this or the closer side; nearer: the hither side of the meadow.
Idioms
3.
hither and thither, in various quarters; here and there: They scurried hither and thither to escape the rain.
4.
hither and yon, from here to over there, especially to a farther place; in or to a great many places: He looked hither and yon for the coin. She went hither and yon in search of an answer.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English hider; cognate with Old Norse hethra, Latin citer on this side

hence, hither, thence, thither, whence, whither, yon (see usage note at whence).
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World English Dictionary
hither (ˈhɪðə)
 
adv
1.  hitherward, Also (archaic): hitherwards to or towards this place (esp in the phrase come hither)
2.  hither and thither this way and that, as in a state of confusion
 
adj
3.  archaic, dialect or (of a side or part, esp of a hill or valley) nearer; closer
 
[Old English hider; related to Old Norse hethra here, Gothic hidrē, Latin citrā on this side, citrō]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hither
O.E. hider, from P.Gmc. *khideran (cf. O.N. heðra "here," Goth. hidre "hither"), from Gmc. demonstrative base *hi- (cf. he, here). Spelling change from -d- to -th- is the same evolution seen in father (q.v.). Relation to here is the same as that of thither to there.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

hither and thither

Also, hither and yon. Here and there, as in I've been wandering about, hither and thither, or Ruth went hither and yon, searching for her sister. These old words for "here" and "there" are rarely heard outside these expressions, which themselves may be dying out. [c. a.d. 725]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Synonyms
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