… foie gras with tangy rhubarb, sweet strawberry and an accent of thyme was served with peanut butter toast.—John Mariani
: an act of proposing a drink in honor of or of drinking in honor of someone or something
He proposed a toast to the newlyweds.
She stood up to make a toast.
… you must remember not to drain your glass on each toast.—Oretha D. Swartz
: someone that is highly admired
She's the toast of society.
He was the toast of the town.
archaic: a person who is honored with a drink and wishes for good health or prosperity
The remaining toasts were DOCTOR MELL; Mrs. MICAWBER (who gracefully bowed her acknowledgements from the side-door …), Mrs. RIDGER BEGS (late Miss Micawber) …—Charles Dickens
: something in honor of which people usually drink : a sentiment that is drunk to
She was famed as the most beautiful girl in the country. Men of the army, men of the navy, and men of the Church, alike adored her. Her name was a toast from Monterey to San Diego.—Helen Hunt Jackson
As Peter and the two remaining ladies raise their champagne glasses, Madison offers the toast: "Here's to seeing if love can conquer all."—wbal.com
slang: someone or something that is finished or done for
Soon their relationship was toast.—Rick Reilly
The Deep Space 2 probes are also aiming for a smooth, clear piece of Martian real estate. "If we hit a really big rock, we're toast," said Suzanne Smrekar, project scientist for Deep Space 2.—Alexandra Witze
: an improvisational rhyming narrative poem or song of African American tradition that employs clever, ironic, bawdy, and irreverent language to salute or celebrate someone
I had toast for breakfast.
He made a toast to the bride and groom.
Everyone drank a toast to the bride and groom.
Recent Examples on the Web
Was this going to be Rocky Horror — the closest thing Americans have to pantomime — without the crucial fun of being able to yell along and throw toast?—Sara Holdren, Vulture, 16 Nov. 2023 Though usually served on toast, Vegemite comes in many forms in restaurants and cafes across Melbourne.—Natasha Frost Abigail Varney, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 For chile powder, Gao toasts and grinds whole erjingtiao chiles.—Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 The Inns’ venue fee includes the getting-ready Gratitude space, unique china and table arrangements, and a champagne toast.—Kelsy Chauvin, Condé Nast Traveler, 9 Nov. 2023 Following the performance, Mitchell was invited onstage for an intimate toast.—Alexandra Schonfeld, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 On the eve of the event, Davis stood up at his table at fine-dining restaurant Nobu to deliver a toast.—Joel Khalili, WIRED, 30 Oct. 2023 The Wonder Oven is a 6-in-1 air fryer and toaster oven that bakes, broils, reheats, broils, roasts, toasts, and fries, and, according to the brand, can preheat 75 percent quicker and cook 30 percent faster than traditional ovens.—Dhara Patel, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 What Is Apple Butter Served With? Apple butter makes a delicious spread on a multitude of dishes, from toast to biscuits, and more.—Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 3 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toast.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
The word toast in the sense "a person who is honored with a drink and wishes for good health or prosperity," with the accompanying verb "to propose or drink to (a person) as a toast," first appears in print at the very end of the seventeenth century. The conventional assumption is that the use is metaphorical, "the name of a lady being supposed to flavour a bumper like a spiced toast in the drink," as it is expressed in the Oxford English Dictionary, first edition. This is pure speculation, however, as the origin of the sense remains obscure. Two oft-quoted explanations appear in Richard steele's journal The Tatler, which appeared between April, 1709 and January, 1711. The first is in No. 24 (June 4, 1709), probably written by Joseph addison: "To know what a toast is in the country gives as much perplexity as she herself does in town: and indeed the learned differ very much upon the original of this word, and the acceptation of it among the moderns. … But many of the wits of the last age will assert that the word, in its present sense, was known among them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident in the town of Bath, in the reign of King Charles the Second. It happen'd, that on a publick day a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the croud of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the company. There was in the place a gay fellow half fuddled who offered to jump in, and swore tho' he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast [alluding to a drink with toast dipped in it]. He was opposed in his resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the present honour which is done to the lady we mention in our liquors, who has ever since been called a toast." Another allusion to an origin, in No. 31 (June 21, 1709) by Richard Steele, makes no mention of the earlier story: "Then, said he [a gentleman in the country unfamiliar with the word], why do you call live people toasts? I answered, that was a new name found out by the wits, to make a lady have the same effect as burridge [borage, used as a garnish or ingredient in cordials] in a glass, when a man is drinking." As both Addison and Steele were capable of mixing fact with invention, these anecdotes should probably not be taken too seriously.
Middle English tosten "to darken by heat, crisp and darken bread by heat," borrowed from Anglo-French toster, tostir (also continental Old French), going back to Late Latin tostāre "to roast, grill," frequentative derivative of Latin torrēre, past participle tostus (going back to *tors(e)tos) "to heat so as to dry, scorch, parch, (of food) roast" — more at thirst entry 1