to, towards

Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix ad- means “to, towards.” Examples using this prefix include admit and adjust. An easy way to remember that the prefix ad- means “towards” is through the word advertise, for when you advertise you try to turn potential buyers “towards” the product you are selling.

Ad- Adds Up!

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix ad- means “to, towards;” today we will address increasing you vocabulary knowledge by looking “towards” this highly used prefix!

When companies advertise their products, they are trying to turn your attention “towards” what they are selling. If their advertisements are effective, they are hoping that you will then adhere or stick “to” buying their products for years to come. If those commercials don’t work, they will probably adjust, or tilt “towards” a different way of telling you about their products that might be more effective. This is a way of adapting to a changing marketplace, or making things suitable “towards” the current way that people think.

Many students spend a great deal of time in their quest to be admitted to college, thereby hoping to be sent “towards” their school of choice. To succeed in this sometimes daunting endeavor, many students adopt very studious habits, making the choice “towards” being the best student they can be.

When you are on an adventure, many challenges and dangers come “towards” you. Before you set off on such a quest, you may want to ask an advisor, or someone who will look “towards” giving you helpful information. This advice will hopefully look “towards” solving any future issues you might have.

Speaking of academic perils, parts of speech can send people into fits. If you take a look at them from an etymological point of view, however, they become quite easy. For instance, an adjective is simply a descriptive word thrown “towards” a noun, whereas an adverb is simply a word that sits near or “towards” a verb in order to describe it.

I think that that’s enough examples thrown “towards” you of the prefix ad-; I wouldn’t want you to become an addict of just that prefix!

  1. advertise: turn ‘towards’
  2. adhere: stick ‘to’
  3. adjust: tilt ‘towards’
  4. adapt: make suitable ‘towards’
  5. admit: send ‘to’
  6. adopt: to make a choice ‘towards’
  7. adventure: a coming ‘towards’
  8. advisor: one who looks ‘towards’ another person to help him
  9. advice: a looking ‘towards’ to help
  10. adverb: word ‘towards’ a verb or adjective
  11. adjective: word ‘towards’ a noun


  • adjudicate

    If you adjudicate a competition or dispute, you officially decide who is right or what should be done concerning any difficulties that may arise.

  • adventitious

    Something that happens unexpectedly and by chance that is not inherent or natural to a given item or situation is adventitious, such as a root appearing in an unusual place on a plant.

  • adulterate

    If you adulterate something, you lessen its quality by adding inferior ingredients or elements to it.

  • adept

    When you are adept at something, you are very good, skillful, or talented at it.

  • unadorned

    Something that is unadorned is not made more attractive with ornament or decoration.

  • adage

    An adage is an inherited saying or phrase that has been historically used to express a common experience.

  • adjure

    When you adjure someone to do something, you persuade, eagerly appeal, or solemnly order them to do it.

  • admonish

    When you admonish someone, you tell them gently but with seriousness that they have done something wrong; you usually caution and advise them not to do it again.

  • adduce

    When you adduce, you give facts and examples in order to prove that something is true.

  • advocate

    When you advocate a plan or action, you publicly push for implementing it.

  • adumbrate

    To _adumbrate_ is to describe something incompletely or to suggest future events based on limited current knowledge.

  • adjunct

    An adjunct is something that is added to or joined to something else that is larger or more important.

  • adherent

    An adherent is a supporter or follower of a leader or a cause.

  • advent

    The advent of something new, such as an invention, marks the beginning of its arrival or appearance to the world at large.

  • adversary

    An adversary is a person who goes against you in some way, such as an opponent in a contest or a personal enemy in a conflict.

  • adversity

    If you undergo adversity in life, you suffer from trouble, misfortune, and hardship.

  • inadvertent

    Something that is done inadvertently is not done intentionally; rather, it is an accident that happens because someone is not being attentive to their surroundings.

  • adjacent

    When something is adjacent to something else, it lies close to or neighbors it.

  • adapt

    When you adapt to a new situation, you change in order to adjust or become used to it.

  • adequate

    If you have an adequate amount of something, it is either enough or just enough.

  • advertorial

    An advertorial is a long advertisement—usually appearing in a newspaper or magazine—that has the form and feel of a normal article or editorial but which is actually trying to sell something or push a point of view.

  • animadversion

    Animadversion is the act of strongly criticizing another person for something they have done.

  • adventurous

    An adventurous person loves trying new things or taking risks in order to make their life more exciting.

  • advice

    When you give someone advice, you help them by suggesting that they do something in a certain way or direct them towards doing a particular thing.

  • address

    A public address is a speech or talk that is formal in nature, such as the President speaking to the people of the United States on the television.

  • adopt

    When you adopt something, such as a plan or idea, you accept it or choose to follow or use it.

  • adjust

    When you adjust something, you change it in some way to make it fit or work better.

Differentiated vocabulary for your students is just a click away.