Hither, thither, and whither

‘-ither’ words all have the implication ‘to a place / time / end’, the selection of the meaning of location, time, or consequence depending on the context. Hither, thither, and whither are typically locational; most uses of hitherto are temporal. All uses of hitherward(s) and thitherward are locational. There is a close link between whither and thither, as seen in such pairings as ‘Whither I go, thither shall you go too’ (1H4 II.iii.118). Context also motivates the choice between a static and a dynamic interpretation of place - ‘whither away’, in particular, carries a more dynamic force, as in ‘Whither away so fast?’ (R3 II.iii.1).

hither and hither-

Item Location Example Gloss
hither AYL I.i.148 I am heartily glad I came hither to you here, to this place
hitherto 1H6 III.iii.9 We have been guided by thee hitherto up to now, thus far
hitherto 1H4 III.i.70 England, from Trent and Severn hitherto, / By south and east is to my part assigned to this place, to this point
hitherto Ham III.ii.216 And hitherto doth love on fortune tend to this extent
hitherward KL IV.iv.21 The British powers are marching hitherward in this direction, towards this place
hitherwards 1H4 IV.i.92 The Earl of Westmoreland seven thousand strong / Is marching hitherwards in this direction, towards this place

thither and thither-

Item Location Example Gloss
thither Ham IV.iii.32 In heaven. Send thither to see. there, to that place
thither AYL I.i.161 Nothing remains but that I kindle the boy thither to that end
thitherward AW III.ii.52 We met him thitherward
in that direction, towards that place

whither and -whither

Item Location Example Gloss
whither H8 V.i.6 Whither so late? to which place, to whatever place
whither Per IV.vi.124 Whither would you have me? to what result, for what purpose
somewhither Tit IV.i.11 Somewhither would she have thee go with her



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