\ ˈtȯs , 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

Release: October 4, 2019 Preliminary verdict: Looks promising With a bit of Looper tossed in, Gemini Man follows Henry Brogen (Will Smith) as an aging assassin who must survive an encounter with his most deadly enemy—himself. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 There have always been employers who quietly tossed out resumes with black-sounding names. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Donald Trump is Not Making White People More Racist, He's Making Them Act More Racist," 5 July 2018 Dora Hampton, 10, of Darlington, rushed to catch pieces of candy tossed by parade participants. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Darlington celebrates Independence Day," 1 July 2018 There’s garbage in every direction, tossed about by the wind that whips through the valley. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 Initially, Russia tossed out estimates of speeds up to 115 mph, but this is incredibly fast for an underwater vehicle—about twice the speed of any U.S. torpedo—and barely credible even with nuclear propulsion. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Truth Behind Russia’s 'Apocalypse Torpedo'," 18 Jan. 2019 The star's golden lengths, tossed into a perfectly polished ponytail, are a winning example of second-day waves done right. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Rang in 2019 With a Jaw-Dropping Couples Workout," 2 Jan. 2019 Marco Gonzales didn’t waste the 7-0 cushion, tossing six innings of two-run ball and striking out seven. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "Mariners Game Day: James Paxton, Gerrit Cole duel as M’s open series vs. AL West-leading Astros," 1 Aug. 2018 So the next time her pool started to get cloudy, Lisa tossed a Magic Eraser in the skimmer basket. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This Grandma Cleaned Her Slimy Green Pool in 24 Hours Using a Single Magic Eraser," 18 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here's a good toss to Northern Iowa's Daurice Fountain in the end zone. Tim Bielik,, "Damon Webb picks off J.T. Barrett: See Ohio State highlights from Day 3 of 2018 Shrine Game practice," 17 Jan. 2018 That loss proved to be a win because if the Kings had won the coin toss, the number combination of 14-7-6-8 would have belonged to Chicago. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Why the Kings believe they built up good 'karma' to get lucky in the draft lottery | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018 Naturally, the Patriots won the coin toss and drove the length of the field for a 34-28 victory. USA TODAY, "Another sports disappointment for Atlanta, state of Georgia," 9 Jan. 2018 While the race was a relatively competitive one that was rated as a toss-up by Cook Political Report, Mills entered the final days with slight polling and fundraising advantages. Li Zhou, Vox, "Janet Mills becomes Maine’s first woman governor," 7 Nov. 2018 Bert, on the other hand, will always obtain tails because Alice and her box know that the coin toss was tails. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum observers with knowledge of quantum mechanics break reality," 19 Sep. 2018 With two out, Gordon hit a grounder to the right side, but Jimenez mishandled the toss from first baseman John Hicks for an error, loading the bases. Noah Trister,, "Mariners' Robinson Cano fractures right hand after getting hit by pitch," 13 May 2018 On one such trip last year, Abbott presided over the coin toss in the game between the University of Alabama and University of Southern California. Peggy Fikac, San Antonio Express-News, "Out-of-state travel tab for Gov. Abbott’s security tops $1 million," 29 Apr. 2018 The toss was 9-feet-2 inches and Village Anchor donated its $1,000 to the Kentucky Humane Society, according to Kentucky Derby Festival President Mike Berry. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Up, up and away! Balloons take to the skies for Kentucky Derby Festival BalloonFest," 26 Apr. 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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Statistics for toss

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toss

The first known use of toss was in the 15th century

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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 \
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

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excited commotion or publicity

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