token

1 of 2

noun

to·​ken ˈtō-kən How to pronounce token (audio)
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
c
: a unit of a cryptocurrency
Bitcoin tokens
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
4
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

token

2 of 2

adjective

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
Phrases
by the same token
: for the same reason
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
By the same token, the state universities resisted efforts by the community colleges to offer four-year baccalaureate degrees in some fields that the CSU schools had shunned. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 17 Feb. 2024 The next closest publicly available large language model, Anthropic’s Claude 2.0, has a context window of 200,000 tokens. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 That window is a whopping 1 million tokens, compared to 128,000 for OpenAI’s GPT-4 and 32,000 for the current Gemini Pro. David Pierce, The Verge, 15 Feb. 2024 Limited edition digital memorabilia verified by blockchain not only serve as secure and exclusive tokens of fandom but also as a new form of engagement. Sandy Carter, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 New input token prices are 50 percent less, at $0.0005 per 1,000 input tokens, and output prices are 25 percent less, at $0.0015 per 1,000 output tokens. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 26 Jan. 2024 Entries are added and verified through regular cross-checks to make the whole project trustworthy, a process incentivized with crypto token rewards. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 26 Jan. 2024 Following the investment, TRAX will operate as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) democratically controlled by holders of TRAX’s new governance token, $TRAX. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, 25 Jan. 2024 Almost anyone can create a cryptocurrency token, the agency noted in its statement. Elizabeth Napolitano, CBS News, 23 Jan. 2024
Adjective
The second-most-valuable token ether, which is on the Ethereum network, was up 17% over the same time period. Robert Hart, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Marcia Gay Harden and Sarah Wayne Callies had the same experience — seemingly when the token female in a film or show was also white. Diane Farr, EW.com, 15 Feb. 2024 Swift is also far from the only media darling who's sported a token signature red lip: Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Sade, Madonna, and more have all popularized their go-to reds in their respective eras, and gone on to inspire retro glam for decades to come. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 14 Feb. 2024 Thereafter, Democratic governors and legislators would often draft last-minute bills containing sweeping policy changes, insert token $1,000 appropriations to tie them to the budget and pass them with little or no opportunity for the public or affected interests to know what was happening. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 8 Feb. 2024 The Americans offered only token military help, on the assumption that Ukraine would fall within days or weeks. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 31 Jan. 2024 Biden faces only token opposition in anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is viewed more favorably by Republicans than Democrats, while Trump is currently beating his closest rival by large margins, according to recent polls. Jill Colvin and Will Weissert, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2023 His team wants to offer a stark contrast between the two parties: While Biden is flush with cash entering 2024, facing token opposition in the Democratic primary, the Republican field has spent more than $90 million on Iowa advertising alone, much of it designed to attack each other. Steve Peoples, Fortune, 16 Jan. 2024 That includes not taking it personally, staying away from any kind of reactionary messaging, and ditching any kind of token gestures intended to placate workers without a thorough follow-through. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'token.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Noun

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

Adjective

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near token

Cite this Entry

“Token.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/token. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

token

noun
to·​ken
ˈtō-kən
1
: an outward sign
2
: something (as an act, gesture, or object) that serves as a sign or symbol
a white flag is a token of surrender
3
a
b
: indication sense 2
this is only a token of what we hope to accomplish
4
: a piece resembling a coin that has a special use
a bus token

More from Merriam-Webster on token

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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