to and fro

to-and-fro

[too-uhn-froh]
adjective
1.
back-and-forth: to-and-fro motion.
noun, plural to-and-fros.
2.
a continuous or regular movement backward and forward; an alternating movement, flux, flow, etc.: the to-and-fro of the surf.

Origin:
1820–30; adj. and noun use of adv. phrase to and fro, Middle English; see fro (def 2)

Dictionary.com Unabridged

fro

[froh]
adverb
1.
Obsolete. from; back.
Idioms
2.
to and fro, alternating from one place to another; back and forth: The trees were swaying to and fro in the wind.

Origin:
1150–1200; Middle English frō, frā < Old Norse frā from; akin to Old English fram from

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fro1 (frəʊ)
 
adv
See to and fro back or from
 
[C12: from Old Norse frā; related to Old English framfrom]

fro or 'fro2 (frəʊ)
 
n , pl fros, 'fros
short for Afro
 
'fro or 'fro2
 
n

to and fro
 
adj, —adv
1.  back and forth
2.  here and there
 
toing and froing
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fro
"away, backwards," c.1200, North Eng. and Scot. dial. fra, Midlands dial. fro, from O.N. fra "from" (see from).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

to and fro

Back and forth, as in He was like a caged animal, pacing to and fro. Strictly speaking, to means "toward" and fro "away from," but this idiom is used more vaguely in the sense of "moving alternately in different directions." [First half of 1300s]

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