\ 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

Animosity on the part of drivers has been compounded by complaints of littering by bicyclists, such as squeezing their juice packs dry and tossing them to the side of the road. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Resurfaced Sugarloaf Mountain Road offers smoother ride for cyclists: ‘The road really looks nice’," 6 June 2019 This season is about giving everything a sniff test before possibly tossing it out. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: There’s very little that’s appetizing about this Dolphins team | Commentary," 5 June 2019 When police told her to drop the gun again, Vallejo-Godoy’s girlfriend approached her and removed it from her waistband, tossing it across the parking lot to police. Nicole Winfield, star-telegram, "Woman pulls a gun after arguing with man over who was next at karaoke, Texas cops say," 4 June 2019 The Massachusetts vacation destination, known for pristine beaches and football-tossing Kennedys, has become a global hot spot for great white sharks. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Shark Attacks Have Cape Cod On Edge," 2 May 2019 Meanwhile, in the second plot, Frank’s wife Sue (Laura Dern) is reeling from the theft of her salad-tossing invention, which has made $1 million for another woman in town. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Netflix’s F Is for Family examines the dark core of the angry sitcom dad," 2 Dec. 2018 Newcomb said Monday after his long-tossing session in the outfield at Yankee Stadium. Dom Amore,, "Dom Amore: UHart's Sean Newcomb Breaking Out In The Big Leagues," 3 July 2018 Underneath the cart were unopened, take-and-toss sippy cups. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "'We give the utmost care': Melania Trump meets Tucson border officials, tours facility," 28 June 2018 After all, Suter is a soft-tossing lefty who usually tops out at 86-87 mph and throws far more changeups (13%) than Peralta. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hitters know the Brewers' Freddy Peralta is going to throw high fastballs, but they aren't easy to hit," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Sleeping next to each other may be important to some couples, but cumbersome to others if one partner snores or tosses and turns. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "Luxury Homes Now Come With Separate Master Bedrooms For Couples Who Want To Sleep Apart," 21 Mar. 2017 The painting was valued at $25 million, and Sue won it in a coin toss. Sean Elder, Town & Country, "The War of The Grosses: Inside the Bitter Divorce Battle of the Laguna Beach "Bond King"," 22 Oct. 2018 Real or not, Delevingne joins a fierce lineup of women who've similarly challenged the limiting beauty ideals women have faced since, well, always—but is also embodying the growing toss-the-razor movement. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "In Her Smell, Cara Delevingne Makes the Case for Armpit Hair," 19 Apr. 2019

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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a tendency to relapse

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