- aff. use a suffix denoting spatial or temporal direction, as specified by the initial element: afterward; backward; seaward. Also, -wards•Etymology: ME; OE -weard, c. OFris, OS -ward, OHG -wart; akin to L vertere to turn (see verse) usage: Words formed with this suffix can be used as adverbs or adjectives. Although both -ward and -wards are standard for the adverbial use, the -ward form is more common in edited American English writing: to reach upward; to fall forward. The adjective form is always -ward: a backward glance.
From formal English to slang. 2014.