\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

Another bonus with the Joseph Joseph is that unlike some of the parts of an Instant Pot, the entire cooker can be easily tossed in the dishwasher when you’re done. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "You'll Never Cook Rice on the Stove Again Thanks to This Microwave Rice Cooker," 16 Oct. 2018 Sunday Riley has struggled in the past few years, facing a lawsuit about false advertising, which was eventually tossed out. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "A leaked email reveals why you can’t always trust Sephora product reviews," 16 Oct. 2018 Our sacred laws have been tossed aside for party profit. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "How Sophia Bush Is Helping Lead the Resistance to Brett Kavanaugh," 4 Oct. 2018 Sabathia was two innings shy of earning a $500,000 bonus before he was tossed from the game in the sixth inning for hitting Sucre in the leg. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia ejected from game, two innings shy of $500G bonus," 28 Sep. 2018 An organization called the Institute for Justice filed a suit in Pennsylvania over the state’s license requirements for home-sharing operators, although the case was recently tossed. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "How conservative ‘property rights’ groups are battling cites’ Airbnb rules," 14 Aug. 2018 As an alternative, Rit Sun Guard detergent can be tossed in with the laundry to temporarily ramp up the protection-level of your clothes. Laurel Naversen Geraghty, SELF, "7 Things You Shouldn’t Rely on for Sun Protection," 12 Aug. 2018 Missouri’s Drew Lock is another one of the passers being tossed into this currently nebulous first-round category. Conor Orr,, "An NFL Fan’s Viewing Guide to the 2019 College Football Season," 13 July 2018 The lamp can only be tossed and kissed and righted and adored. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "This Fucked Me Up: David Byrne Dancing with a Lamp," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Cook Political Report — an independent, non-partisan election analysis newsletter that evaluates which way voters lean in certain areas — rates several key House races as toss-ups, especially for Republicans. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "2018 Midterm Congressional Election Results: Which Party Is Winning the House and the Senate?," 7 Nov. 2018 Only 10 of his rallies have taken place in House districts that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report calls either toss-ups or leaning slightly one way. Janet Hook, WSJ, "Republicans Pin Hopes on Trump Rallies," 1 Nov. 2018 The Tennessee Senate contest, in particular, has shifted sharply in Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s direction in recent weeks, while Democratic pickup opportunities in Arizona and Nevada are now considered toss-ups. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Senate slipping away as Dems fight to preserve blue wave," 23 Oct. 2018 The latest Cook Political Report analysis calls the race a toss-up in an election that’s seen as a referendum on not just the GOP, but the President himself. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp Arm-Wrestles in New Campaign Ad," 5 Oct. 2018 The West Virginia Senate race is considered a toss-up in the midterm elections, as Republicans hope to unseat incumbent Joe Manchin, a Democrat who first won the seat in a 2010 special election. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Morrisey pulls off upset in W.Va. Senate primary, as Indiana’s Braun and Ohio’s Renacci win nominations," 2 Oct. 2018 According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Democratic senators running for re-election in the Republican-leaning states of Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Florida and Missouri are in toss-up contests. John Wildermuth,, "Will Dems ‘gum up the works’ to try to block a Trump Supreme Court pick?," 28 June 2018 Denham, and Will Hurd, R-Texas, all of whom represent districts that are considered toss-up races in November's midterm elections and areas that have large Hispanic populations. NBC News, "Paul Ryan shrugs off suggestions of an early leadership exit," 22 May 2018 President Trump isn't known for his sweet talk -- but his sweet toss is now world-famous. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump reportedly tossed Starburst at Merkel during G-7 summit: 'Don't say I never give you anything'," 22 June 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

13 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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Comments on toss

What made you want to look up toss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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