\ 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

Immediately tossed, Cora pointed nearly two dozen times at various Yankees runners and the plate, accusing Easterbook between profanities of missing at least five strike calls. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Alex Cora, Chris Sale flipped out at umpire and got ejected in Yankees game," 3 Aug. 2019 And toss a bit of credit to lacrosse — even if the sport might think twice about welcoming him back. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Baking, lacrosse-playing center Keith Ismael key for Aztecs football in 2019," 3 Aug. 2019 The soft-tossing lefty allowed two runs and five hits, striking out five in 6⅓ innings. Rob Maddi,, "White Sox’s wild win over the Phillies features a hitter pitching, a pitcher shining in left field and Jose Abreu winning it in the 15th," 2 Aug. 2019 Transfer to a baking sheet, add the cubed squash, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of oil and toss to coat. Jessica Battilana,, "Repertoire: Eggplant Gratin With Ricotta Custard," 2 Aug. 2019 Whisk until sugar dissolves, then toss in cabbage and scallions until evenly coated. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Grilled Chicken with Coconut-Lime Slaw," 2 Aug. 2019 Sure enough, in a nearly three-minute clip eventually viewed more than 15 million times, Thompson tossed the liquid nitrogen right into his eyes. The Washington Post,, "YouTube star Jonathan Grant Thompson dies in paragliding crash," 31 July 2019 Last week, a bull bison tossed a 9-year-old Florida girl into the air when the animal charged a group of about 50 tourists at Yellowstone National Park. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "17-year-old girl gored by bison at national park in North Dakota," 30 July 2019 Right as the couple went in for a kiss, a guest tossed their drink onto Mongeau and Paul. Dave Quinn,, "Brielle Biermann Attends Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul's Wedding with Mystery Man," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Next, add the seasonings in this order and with a quick toss after each addition: chile powder, lemongrass, red onion, cilantro, mint, green onions, sawtooth, nam pla ra, lime juice and toasted rice powder. Jesse Pearson,, "Fly fishing for ‘sewer salmon’ in the L.A. River," 11 July 2019 Family games begin in Shamrock Park with a water balloon toss at 9 a.m., a costume contest at 10, Uncle Sam Says at 11 and a watermelon eating contest for kids and adults at 11:30. Baltimore Sun,, "Darlington kicks off Harford's Independence Day celebrations with parade, fireworks on June 29," 26 June 2019 Right now, my go-to powders are a toss up between Onomie’s AHA! Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Setting Powder Is Low-Key the Superhero of Your Makeup Collection," 18 June 2019 Pickled shaved ginger salad — pulsing with lime juice and crunchy with cabbage and spiced peanuts — is as enticing as the toss of tea leaves. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Thamee lets diners feast on Burmese stories," 14 June 2019 The Favourite Vegas and critics agree: This one will likely be a toss up. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See If Your 2019 Oscars Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 23 Feb. 2019 There will still be a coin toss, with the winner deciding whether to receive or defer. Bernie Wilson, The Seattle Times, "AAF kicks off without kickoffs, but with SkyJudge," 5 Feb. 2019 The second event is a ring toss, which is really just lifting a tractor tire. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelor Season 23, Episode 3 Recap: Elyse for Bachelorette?," 21 Jan. 2019 Matthew Tua'au of Gustavus claimed the boys shot put with a toss of 49-6.75, and Anna Brock of Homer took the discus title with a throw of 115-10. Anchorage Daily News, "Soaring performance puts Chugiak high jumper in state record book," 26 May 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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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

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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