\ ˈtȯs How to pronounce toss (audio) , ˈtäs\
tossed; tossing; tosses

Definition of toss

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to throw with a quick, light, or careless motion or with a sudden jerk toss a ball around
b : to throw up in the air tossed by a bull
d : to send as if by throwing tossed in jail tossed out of the game
e : to get rid of : throw away
2a : to fling or lift with a sudden motion tosses her head angrily
b : to tilt suddenly so as to empty by drinking tossed his glass also : to consume by drinking toss down a drink
3a : to fling or heave continuously about, to and fro, or up and down a ship tossed by waves
c : to mix lightly until well coated with a dressing or until the elements are thoroughly combined toss a salad
4 : to make uneasy : stir up : disturb
5 : to accomplish, provide, or produce readily or easily toss off a few verses
6 : throw sense 5 toss a party
7 : vomit sense 1 often used in the phrase toss one's cookies

intransitive verb

1a : to move restlessly or turbulently especially : to twist and turn repeatedly tossed sleeplessly all night
b : to move with a quick or spirited gesture
2 : to decide an issue by flipping a coin



Definition of toss (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of tossing: such as
a : throw, pitch
b : an abrupt tilting or upward fling
c : a deciding by chance and especially by flipping a coin
2 : the state or fact of being tossed

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Other Words from toss


tosser noun

Synonyms for toss

Synonyms: Verb

careen, lurch, pitch, rock, roll, seesaw, sway, wobble (also wabble)

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Choose the Right Synonym for toss


throw, cast, toss, fling, hurl, pitch, sling mean to cause to move swiftly through space by a propulsive movement or a propelling force. throw is general and interchangeable with the other terms but may specifically imply a distinctive motion with bent arm. can throw a fastball and a curve cast usually implies lightness in the thing thrown and sometimes a scattering. cast it to the winds toss suggests a light or careless or aimless throwing and may imply an upward motion. tossed the coat on the bed fling stresses a violent throwing. flung the ring back in his face hurl implies power as in throwing a massive weight. hurled himself at the intruder pitch suggests throwing carefully at a target. pitch horseshoes sling stresses either the use of whirling momentum in throwing or directness of aim. slung the bag over his shoulder

Examples of toss in a Sentence


She tossed the ball high in the air. She tossed the paper at the recycling bin. He tossed his dirty socks onto the floor. He tossed his head back. She tossed her hair and smiled. Waves tossed the ship about. The ship tossed on the waves.


They decided what to do by a coin toss. the toss of a coin She threw her hair back with a toss of her head.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While Haley waited and hoped the race would not resume, drivers Bubba Wallace and Daniel Hemric took a football to the infield grass and took turns tossing it back and forth to the fans in the grandstands. Jenna Fryer,, "Justin Haley drives away with first career win in rain-shortened race at Daytona," 7 July 2019 Residents must divide their waste into four separate categories and toss it into specific public bins. The Economist, "Cheerleaders and police usher in a new era of trash-sorting," 4 July 2019 Odorizzi tossed him his signature dish: a perfect splitter that sliced into the lower inside corner. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Takeaways: A’s beat odds, beat Twins 8-6," 3 July 2019 Jonathan Thacker: … seemingly the killer used them and tossed them in the bag to get rid of them along with Samira's body. Asena Basak, CBS News, "Convicted killer of pregnant Florida mother: "I did not kill Samira Watkins"," 3 July 2019 Smoking hot dogs can be as simple as tossing them straight on the smoker with a little dry rub. Chuck Blount,, "Celebrate July 4th with burgers, hot dogs freed from the grill," 1 July 2019 Eflin missed a diving attempt to catch a popup near the first-base line but then collected the ball and tossed it for the out. Steven Wine,, "Marlins’ big rally bails out Yamamoto after rookie’s first rough outing," 30 June 2019 Her heart-wrenching turn on the high school stage alone should toss her into Emmy consideration next year. Ariana Romero,, "Thinking Through Euphoria Season 1, Episode 2: "Stuntin' Like My Daddy"," 24 June 2019 At a low moment, Woody sacrifices his voice box only for him and Gabby Gabby to find, shockingly, that the gambit doesn’t work: the granddaughter sees the now-working doll, looks at it briefly, then tosses it away. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Toy Story 4' Surprises With Its Villain," 22 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On the other, Max Scherzer’s wild month has created a toss-up between him and Hyun-jin Ryu for Cy Young. Emma Baccellieri,, "Max Scherzer and Hyun-jin Ryu Have Cy Young Voters on a Collision Course," 3 July 2019 The toss-ups Sometimes figuring out the cause of storm damage isn't so straightforward. Jesus Jimenez, Dallas News, "Was it a tornado or straight-line winds? Here’s what survey teams look for after a storm," 20 June 2019 Political analysts are sizing it up as a toss-up, given Sinema’s 2018 win by more than 2 percentage points, the state’s growing population of people of color, and President Donald Trump’s divisive presidency. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema raising money criticizing Sen. Martha McSally's 2020 race," 3 June 2019 Cairo, the son of longtime MLB player Miguel Cairo, is a top-100 prospect who seems like a toss-up. Brody Miller,, "MLB Draft preview: What LSU players and signees to watch for," 3 June 2019 In addition to inflatables and water games, many activities like a bean bag toss and a dunk tank will help your family enjoy the time before the fireworks. Jessica Suriano, azcentral, "23 places to watch Fourth of July fireworks in metro Phoenix," 18 June 2018 Games included egg rolling, a bean bag toss and tic-tac-toe. Chuck Crow,, "Annual Easter egg hunt at Cleveland Botanical Garden draws about 1,000 visitors," 31 Mar. 2018 Lastly, the celebration will include a variety of games, including horseshoes, bean bag toss and washers. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "The rodeo spirit: Communities' residents get in," 12 Feb. 2018 Brady threw for more yards -- a playoff career-high 505 to Foles' 373 -- but Foles matched Brady's three touchdown tosses and even caught another. CBS News, "Eagles' QB Nick Foles a Super Bowl MVP and unlikely folk hero in Philly," 4 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'toss.' 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 toss


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3a


1634, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for toss


Middle English

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More Definitions for toss



English Language Learners Definition of toss

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to throw (something) with a quick, light motion
: to move or lift (something, such as a part of your body) quickly or suddenly
: to move (something) back and forth or up and down



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

: the act of throwing or tossing something with a quick, light motion
: the act of throwing a coin up into the air in order to make a decision about something based on which side of the coin is shown after it lands
: the act of moving your head suddenly upward and backward


\ ˈtȯs How to pronounce toss (audio) \
tossed; tossing

Kids Definition of toss

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to throw with a quick light motion
2 : to lift with a sudden motion The horse tossed its head.
3 : to throw or swing back and forth or up and down Waves tossed the ship about.
4 : to be thrown about rapidly A canoe was tossing on the waves.
5 : to move about restlessly Instead of sleeping, he tossed in his bed.
6 : to stir or mix lightly tossed salad



Kids Definition of toss (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of throwing something
2 : the act of lifting with a sudden motion a toss of the head

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More from Merriam-Webster on toss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toss

Spanish Central: Translation of toss

Nglish: Translation of toss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toss for Arabic Speakers

Comments on toss

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something desired as essential

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