\ 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

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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 Add snap peas and toss in cooled dressing to lightly coat. Rashida Holmes, WSJ, "Smashed Cucumber and Sugar Snap Pea Salad With Jerk Vinaigrette," 28 Apr. 2021 Pour the hot pecans into a large bowl and toss with the remaining butter and then with the spice mixture. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "It's not too late to plan your Kentucky Derby party," 28 Apr. 2021 Hog farmers appealed the rulings, citing the North Carolina laws as reason to toss the lawsuits. Lulu Ramadan, ProPublica, "“They’re Trying to Make It So We Walk Away”: It’s About to Get Harder to File Lawsuits Saying Sugar Harvesters Poisoned the Air," 28 Apr. 2021 The dining room has a long counter where diners will be able to watch Bauman toss pizza dough in the air and cook them in a Mugnaini oven from Italy. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, "A Cotogna alum is opening her own Italian restaurant in the Marina," 27 Apr. 2021 Transfer the noodles to a large serving bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Washington Post, "Spicy pork and soba noodles deliver sweet, salty and crunchy in one filling dish," 27 Apr. 2021 Doncic drove toward the basket, slowing before accelerating into the lane with his patented crafty touch, to toss in a floater and receive a few extra congratulations on his way to the Oracle Arena locker room. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Luka Doncic and ‘pissed off’ Mavs turn 28-0 run vs. Warriors into dominant, playoff-strengthening win," 27 Apr. 2021 From the moment the creators of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone adaptation made the decision to toss the Crows into Alina Starkov’s story, two facts were going to be undeniable. Devon Maloney, Vulture, "Shadow and Bone Season-Finale Recap: A Tale of Two Boats," 25 Apr. 2021 On the video, Toledo, with his back to the officer, appears to toss the gun to the ground and quickly turn around, his hands in the air. Alex Kotlowitz, The New Yorker, "The Killing of Adam Toledo and the Colliding Cycles of Violence in Chicago," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Although McDormand’s win was not a shock, the best actress race was seen as a toss-up. Washington Post, "The 2021 Oscars, like the year they celebrated, were destined to be the most anticlimactic ever," 26 Apr. 2021 At last count, the outcome for Prop B looked like a toss-up. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "Would Prop B hold San Antonio police accountable or defund them? Both arguments are a stretch," 18 Apr. 2021 Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won the toss, scored and ended the game. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The NFL Coach, the Nobel Prize Winner and One Crazy Idea to Fix Overtime," 11 Mar. 2021 Super Bowl winners have won the toss 24 of 55 times. Marc Bona, cleveland, "How did CBS do with its Super Bowl LV coverage of Chiefs-Buccaneers game?," 8 Feb. 2021 The Irish won the toss and elected to receive, hoping to get some early momentum. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Najee Harris, Alabama offense hurdle Notre Dame in Rose Bowl, advance to College Football Playoff final," 2 Jan. 2021 The Raiders won the toss in overtime and methodically marched the ball down the field. Andy Nesbitt, USA TODAY, "Jon Gruden is the reason why the Raiders aren't going to the playoffs," 19 Dec. 2020 Rutgers beating Clemson as a No. 10 seed would technically be an upset, even if the first-round matchup is essentially a toss-up. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "March Madness 2021: NCAA Tournament bracket analysis, team capsules for Midwest Region," 14 Mar. 2021 Melvin said that Murphy will hit soft toss Sunday and is catching bullpens, but did not offer a timetable for when Murphy might appear in games. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's Jed Lowrie appears close to Cactus League debut," 7 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for toss

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for toss

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Toss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on toss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toss

Nglish: Translation of toss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toss for Arabic Speakers

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