toss

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

1
a
: 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
tosser noun

toss

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act or instance of tossing: such as
a
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
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

Verb 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. Noun 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In another bowl, toss remaining tofu with cornstarch. Melissa Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2024 If they’re damaged, torn or scratched, toss them away. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 8 Apr. 2024 One of the men ripped a metal folding chair out of Dominik's hands, while the other masked man slammed him into the corner of the ring from the outside, and then tossed him into the center the ring. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 7 Apr. 2024 Nowadays, Moon Pies are tossed from floats during Mardi Gras. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 6 Apr. 2024 The cotton design is a comfortable choice to toss on for spring, while the halter adds an eye-catching element that also keeps the neckline secure. Megan Schaltegger, Southern Living, 4 Apr. 2024 In the following years, Erdoğan tossed a record number of journalists in jail and censored the internet, and foreign investors recoiled. Leif Wenar, WIRED, 2 Apr. 2024 Would-be voters uncertain about their eligibility can file provisional ballots instead of casting a regular one, leaving it to election officials to verify their voter status and tally or toss the vote accordingly (Mason’s vote wasn’t counted). Jaime Moore-Carrillo, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 29 Mar. 2024 But three months later, during what was supposed to be his sentencing, the judge tossed the verdict and granted the officer a new trial. Charles Rabin, Miami Herald, 28 Mar. 2024
Noun
Coaches and players from the Lahainaluna High School football team are present for the coin toss. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 But so far, his swinging has been limited to hitting off a tee or soft tosses. Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register, 7 Feb. 2024 One way to consider what house shirt to keep or toss is to think about it as a friend. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 21 Mar. 2024 With most of the games above, there are betting strategies that can lower the house edge to roughly 1%, giving you nearly a 50-50 shot with each deal, spin, or dice toss. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 5 Mar. 2024 The San Francisco 49ers lost the coin toss, and the Kansas City Chiefs opted to defer. Breanne L. Heldman, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 The 49ers won the coin toss and chose to have first possession. Ben Morse, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 After winning the coin toss, the 49ers chose to receive the ball, which made sense under the previous rules — a touchdown wins it — but not so much under the new ones. Scott Chasen, Kansas City Star, 12 Feb. 2024 If Kansas City had won the coin toss to start overtime and scored a touchdown, would the Chiefs' defense have held for a 7-point win? 3. Richard Morin, USA TODAY, 12 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toss.' 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

Verb

Middle English

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Cite this Entry

“Toss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toss. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

toss

verb
ˈtȯs,
ˈtäs
1
: to throw or swing to and fro or up and down
waves tossed the ship about
2
: to throw with a quick light motion
toss a ball into the air
3
: to lift with a sudden motion
toss the head
4
: to be thrown about rapidly
the river surged and tossed
5
: to move about restlessly
toss in one's sleep
6
: to stir or mix lightly
toss a salad
7
: to drink quickly
toss noun

More from Merriam-Webster on toss

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!