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noun to·ken \ˈtō-kən\

Simple Definition of token

  • : a round piece of metal or plastic that is used instead of money in some machines : an object that looks like a coin and is used in place of a coin

  • : something that is a symbol of a feeling, event, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of token

  1. 1 :  an outward sign or expression <his tears were tokens of his grief>

  2. 2a :  symbol, emblem <a white flag is a token of surrender>b :  an instance of a linguistic expression

  3. 3 :  a distinguishing feature :  characteristic

  4. 4a :  souvenir, keepsakeb :  a small part representing the whole :  indication <this is only a token of what we hope to accomplish>c :  something given or shown as a guarantee (as of authority, right, or identity)

  5. 5a :  a piece resembling a coin issued as money by some person or body other than a de jure governmentb :  a piece resembling a coin issued for use (as for fare on a bus) by a particular group on specified terms

  6. 6 :  a member of a group (as a minority) that is included within a larger group through tokenism; especially :  a token employee

by the same token

  1. :  for the same reason

Examples of token in a sentence

  1. <please accept this parting gift as a token of our lasting affection>

Origin and Etymology of token

Middle English, from Old English tācen, tācn sign, token; akin to Old High German zeihhan sign, Greek deiknynai to show — more at diction

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of token

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason <encouraging signs for the economy>. mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance <a mark of a good upbringing>. token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible <this gift is a token of our esteem>. note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic <a note of irony in her writing>. symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition <rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay>.



adjective to·ken

Simple Definition of token

  • —used to describe something that is done with very little effort and only to give the appearance that an effort is being made

  • : included in a group only to prevent criticism that people of a particular kind are being unfairly left out

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of token

  1. 1 :  done or given as a token especially in partial fulfillment of an obligation or engagement <a token payment>

  2. 2a :  representing no more than a symbolic effort :  minimal, perfunctory <token resistance> <token integration>b :  serving or intended to show absence of discrimination <a token female employee>

Examples of token in a sentence

  1. All the people who work there are men except for a couple of token women.

  2. The ad campaign features a few token minorities.


First Known Use of token


TOKEN Defined for Kids


noun to·ken \ˈtō-kən\

Definition of token for Students

  1. 1 :  an outer sign :  proof <“… you ought to take this for a plain and visible token that you are not to be a seafaring man.” — Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe>

  2. 2 :  a piece like a coin that has a special use <a bus token>

  3. 3 :  an object used to suggest something that cannot be pictured <This ring is a token of my affection.>

  4. 4 :  souvenir

  5. 5 :  indication 2

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