-ward Also -wards.
In a specified direction.
[Old English -weard, from a Germanic base meaning ‘turn’.]
These two forms are virtually identical in meaning, the choice between them often being one of euphony or personal inclination. However, there is a strong tendency in British English for words in -wards to be adverbs (his car shot forwards), while those in -ward are more likely to be adjectives (she was a backward child), or occasionally nouns (let us look to the eastward). In American English, -ward is more usual in all cases.
The suffixes can be added to nouns that relate to some place or direction, and to adverbs that refer to a direction. They make adverbs and adjectives that indicate movement in some direction (backwards, eastward, towards, upward). A few refer to movement in time (afterwards). Examples are created as needed in the modern language: futurewards, holeward, lakewards, planetward, riverwards.