\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

c : match sense 5a

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

b : bandy sense 2

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

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

That ring-finger attachment is a must for tossing in the correct direction, since the gyrometer takes throwing angle into account. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokemon Let’s Go: Well, I guess my adult ass is going to collect them all," 16 Nov. 2018 Try these simmer pot recipes which involve tossing fresh fruits, herbs, and spices in your slow cooker. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "These Essential Oils Will Make Your Entire Home Smell Like Christmas," 14 Oct. 2018 Best Buy is selling multi-packs of Tiles and tossing in a free Google Home Mini with purchase. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "The not-so-new Note 9 is back in the headlines," 6 Oct. 2018 Cut zucchini and chicken into pieces and toss in sauce; fold in basil. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Grilled Basil Chicken and Zucchini," 16 Aug. 2018 This coffee and donut chain is giving away their new donut fries made from croissant dough tossed in cinnamon sugar for free to the first 100 guests between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in 25 of their restaurants nationwide., "How to Get Free McDonald's Fries and More Deals on Friday for National French Fry Day," 13 July 2018 An appeals court tossed out Ramos’ defamation case in 2015 in scathing terms. Ian Duncan,, "Capital Gazette shooting suspect's anger flared, and fell silent. Then, police say, it exploded," 8 July 2018 The bear played with the chlorinator and tossed the thermometer in the air, Hough said. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "I Freaking Love This Margarita-Drinking Hot-Tub Bear," 3 July 2018 The creature played with the chlorinator and tossed the thermometer in the air, Hough said. Alina Hartounian,, "Margarita-loving bear takes a dip in a California hot tub," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, in a salad bowl toss herbs, arugula and ground almonds with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Best Reason to Bake, Not Fry: Flavor," 12 Oct. 2018 Add apple and remaining cheese, toss, then scatter over prepared dough. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Apple, Sweet Potato, and Rosemary Flatbread," 9 Oct. 2018 Both states are still tallying damage, and homeowners are just starting to tear out moldy carpets, toss ruined furniture and negotiate with insurance adjusters. Jeffrey Collins, The Seattle Times, "Storm-weary Carolinas worry Michael could hurt rebuilding," 9 Oct. 2018 Mix harissa with remaining 2 tablespoon oil and toss with broccoli; sprinkle with lemon zest. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Grilled Pork with Charred Harissa Broccoli," 17 Aug. 2018 The Tigers tied it at 9-all during the eighth when Victor Martinez had an RBI single and pinch-runner JaCoby Jones scored when first baseman Jake Bauers flipped a toss past reliever Sergio Romo for an error on Mikie Mahtook's infield single. Mark Didtler,, "Rays stay hot at home as Daniel Robertson's walk-off single in the 10th beats Tigers," 9 July 2018 Cashner, whose has been given the worst run support among all the Orioles’ starters, failed to catch a toss from first baseman Chris Davis while covering first base on No. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Cashner's quality start, Schoop's two homers not enough in Orioles' 5-2 loss to Twins," 6 July 2018 For the holiday, the Bellino family’s festivities included a watermelon eating contest and a water balloon toss. Natalie Stone,, "Alexis Bellino Says She's an 'Independent Woman' as She Sports Bikini After Divorce Announcement," 5 July 2018 Add the sturdier greens and give everything a quick toss. Sarah Fritsche,, "Recipe: Tawla’s Fattoush," 3 July 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

27 Nov 2018

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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to enclose within walls

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