Usage Note: Some grammatical purists assert that due to may only be used after be, as in The cancellation of the concert was due to the rain. According to this interpretation, due is an adjective, meaning roughly “attributable” and modifying cancellation, with to the rain being a prepositional phrase that modifies due. But for many decades people have used due to without be to modify a verb, as in The concert was canceled due to the rain, and modern grammarians point out that there is some justification for this usage: due to can be interpreted as a compound preposition, and prepositional phrases can modify verbs (like was canceled in the second sentence above) as well as nouns (like cancellation in the first sentence). Over time, the Usage Panel has come to agree: in 1966, 84 percent rejected a sentence in which due to modified a verb; in 1966, 60 percent accepted it, and in 2017, 87 percent accepted it. Writers looking for a substitute can opt for because of, on account of, or owing to.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.