1

token

noun to·ken \ ˈtō-kən \

Definition of token

1 a :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
2 :an outward sign or expression
  • his tears were tokens of his grief
3 a :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

Examples of token in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of token from the Web

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.

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

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

2

token

adjective

Definition of token

1 a :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

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.

Recent Examples of token from the Web

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.

First Known Use of token

1915



TOKEN Defined for English Language Learners

token

noun

Definition of token for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of token for English Language Learners

  • —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 Defined for Kids

token

noun to·ken \ ˈtō-kən \

Definition of token for Students

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.
5 :indication 2


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