token

noun
to·​ken | \ ˈtō-kən \

Definition of token

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a piece resembling a coin issued for use (as for fare on a bus) by a particular group on specified terms
b : a piece resembling a coin issued as money by some person or body other than a de jure government
c : a unit of a cryptocurrency Bitcoin tokens
2 : an outward sign or expression his tears were tokens of his grief
3a : symbol, emblem a white flag is a token of surrender
b : an instance of a linguistic expression
b : 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 : a member of a group (such as a minority) that is included within a larger group through tokenism especially : a token employee
6 : a distinguishing feature : characteristic
by the same token
: for the same reason

token

adjective

Definition of token (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for token

Noun

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

Examples of token in a Sentence

Noun

please accept this parting gift as a token of our lasting affection

Adjective

All the people who work there are men except for a couple of token women. The ad campaign features a few token minorities.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tax persisted until 1772 after which many of the tokens were melted down so their metal could be used in other currency. Popular Mechanics, "Rare 300-Year-Old 'Beard Tax' Coin Discovered in Russia," 28 Aug. 2018 When news broke that due to budget cuts the Metropolitan Museum of Art would stop distributing admission buttons, many described it as the end of an era, akin to the demise of subway tokens and corner pay phones. Town & Country, "Invaluable: Museum Buttons," 17 Jan. 2014 Investors are placing sufficient orders in the second round even after the token was priced at more than triple last month’s level, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the offer is private. Ilya Khrennikov, Bloomberg.com, "Telegram On Track to Push Its Cryptocurrency Sale to $1.7 Billion," 23 Mar. 2018 The tokens and trinkets from all over the world left nearly daily in our school mailboxes? Loren Kleinman And Amye Archer, Marie Claire, "I’m a Survivor of Sandy Hook. This Is What The Past Six Years Have Been Like.," 14 Dec. 2018 At the monument by Truc Bach lake, where McCain landed after parachuting from his damaged plane, dozens paid their respects, leaving flowers and tokens. Fox News, "John McCain’s former Vietnamese jailor says he always respected the late senator," 27 Aug. 2018 Zombie horror often tips over into humor, but by the same token, zombie humor can end up in some bleak places. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Why zombies are so hilarious," 5 Dec. 2018 The best part of the set has to be the tokens though. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Stop Everything: 'Golden Girls' Monopoly and Clue Are 40% Off on Amazon," 16 July 2018 Menendez and Melgen denied wrongdoing, saying the European and Dominican vacations and other gifts were tokens of their longtime friendship. Washington Post, "US Sen. Bob Menendez announces he’ll seek 3rd term," 27 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The specific charges were merely a vehicle for the Tezos token holders’ grievances with the status quo. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Forbes’s swamped bureau reporters could offer only token help to a 23-year-old greenhorn on what many regarded as a fool’s errand. Jonathan Greenberg, Town & Country, "How to Get a Spot Among the Billionaires on the Forbes 400 List," 15 Jan. 2019 For a larger party, simple gifts such as delicate ornaments are a wonderful way to leave everyone with a sentimental token to remember the evening. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Celebrity Event Planner’s Secrets for the Best Holiday Party Ever," 10 Oct. 2018 And, like other digital currencies, IOTA’s token value has soared and fallen. The Economist, "New ways to trade data," 28 Mar. 2018 When Ars asked specifically what the range of possible cash versus token value of the grants was, Iles declined to answer. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Civil unrest: How a blockchain-based journalism startup bumbled its launch," 23 Dec. 2018 Fans took umbrage with the token by pointing out a hilarious irony: that amount of credit couldn't even buy a virtual canvas bag within the game in question. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Bethesda’s attempt to fix a Fallout 76 blunder leaks angry shoppers’ PID [Updated]," 5 Dec. 2018 Thanks to Mark Ellwood, Lale Arikoglu, and our token third-culture kid and former U.K. resident Erin Florio. Condé Nast Traveler, "We Planned Your First Trip to London: Travelogue Podcast," 23 Nov. 2018 The open defiance continued, token desegregation continued slowly in many parts of the South and Southwest, and the impact is still being felt in many communities. Bill Mears, Fox News, "The 'forgotten' Supreme Court decision and its impact on our politics," 9 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'token.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of token

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for token

Noun

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

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Statistics for token

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for token

The first known use of token was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for token

token

noun

English Language Learners Definition of token

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.

token

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of token (Entry 2 of 2)

disapproving
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

token

noun
to·​ken | \ ˈtō-kən \

Kids Definition of token

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 : a piece like a coin that has a special use a bus token
3 : an object used to suggest something that cannot be pictured This ring is a token of my affection.
4 : souvenir

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More from Merriam-Webster on token

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with token

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for token

Spanish Central: Translation of token

Nglish: Translation of token for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of token for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about token

Comments on token

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