\ 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
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

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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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Demonstrators also set fire to a rainbow flag and tossed firecrackers and smoke bombs toward the cinema entrance. Nick Holdsworth, The Hollywood Reporter, "Protestors Clash with Police at Screening of Gay-Themed Movie in Tbilisi, Georgia," 8 Nov. 2019 For the oven method, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake until fragrant, tossing halfway through baking for even color, about 8-10 minutes. Claire Perez,, "Claire’s tip of the week: Give pine nuts some TLC," 8 Nov. 2019 Regis Jesuit quarterback Nicco Marchiol led the passing attack with 240 yards through the air, tossing five touchdowns without an interception. Hero Sports, The Denver Post, "Regis Jesuit holds off Douglas County, 42-7," 7 Nov. 2019 Johnson led the way with 3,056 yards while Cohn tossed an area best 35 touchdown passes. J.c. Carnahan,, "Orlando area high school football passing leaders," 7 Nov. 2019 The storm ripped up trees and power pylons, tossed vehicles and left swathes of debris across the northern region of Halkidiki as the severe weather brought gale-force winds, heavy rain and hail. Fox News, "Tornado rips through olive oil factory in Greece, sending debris in the air," 7 Nov. 2019 Democratic and Republican observers believe the race is a toss-up, but the nationalization of our politics (see Trump campaigning for Bevin last night) could give the GOP the slightest of edges. NBC News, "Here's how to watch tonight's elections in Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia," 5 Nov. 2019 Remove from freezer and toss in sweet potato puree until evenly combined with flour mixture. Carrie Knauer,, "Carrie’s Kitchen: Sweet (potato) recipe ideas to try this Thanksgiving," 4 Nov. 2019 Then, one possession later, Whiteside worked into the lane and tossed up a pretty hook shot. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Golden State Warriors beat Portland Trail Blazers 127-118: Game rewind," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Originally, oddsmakers viewed this game almost as a toss-up, as the Bears were the slight favorite over Detroit with -139 outright odds. Ryan R. Bonini, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Moving Lines: Bears now huge favorite over Lions without Matthew Stafford," 10 Nov. 2019 Vice President Mike Pence is visiting Craig’s district today, as part of a tour of toss-up districts held by Democrats, and the Republican National Committee recently bought ads against her. Lissandra Villa, Time, "Lawmakers Hone Their Messaging on Impeachment," 10 Oct. 2019 For years Democrats have predicted that Texas was just a few election cycles away from becoming a toss-up state. The Economist, "Texas won’t go blue," 3 Oct. 2019 The comedy arena had been a toss-up leading up to the show. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Game of Thrones’ Muted Victory Lap at the Emmys," 23 Sep. 2019 The survival rate for stowaways in 10 incidents involving 11 people (one flight recorded two stowaways) was essentially a toss up, according to an FAA incident summary. Alex Horton, Anchorage Daily News, "2 stowaways hid in a plane’s landing gear – and fell to their death during takeoff," 28 Feb. 2018 Still, a toss-up would be good odds for Trump after 16 years of New Mexico going blue. Time, "Trump Plans to Win New Mexico. His Supporters Aren't So Sure He Can," 17 Sep. 2019 Despite this, most polls suggest the race will be a toss-up. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Why Is There a Special Election in North Carolina? Here’s What Happened," 10 Sep. 2019 Nearly all of them, including the Florida congresswoman, flipped their seats in last year’s midterm elections; Cook Political Report has rated 15 of their races as toss-ups next year. Rebecca Shabad, NBC News, "Democratic freshmen holdouts on impeachment face rising pressure," 9 Sep. 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


How to pronounce toss (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toss

Spanish Central: Translation of toss

Nglish: Translation of toss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toss for Arabic Speakers

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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