\ ˈtȯi How to pronounce toy (audio) \

Definition of toy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something for a child to play with
2 : something diminutive especially : a diminutive animal (as of a small breed or variety)
3 : something that can be toyed with
4a : something (such as a preoccupation) that is paltry or trifling
b : a literary or musical trifle or diversion
5 Scotland : a headdress of linen or woolen hanging down over the shoulders and formerly worn by old women of the lower classes
6 obsolete
a : flirtatious or seductive behavior
b : pastime also : a sportive or amusing act : antic


toyed; toying; toys

Definition of toy (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to act or deal with something lightly or without vigor or purpose toyed with the idea
2 : to amuse oneself as if with a toy : play they're just toying with him
3 : to engage in flirtation



Definition of toy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of diminutive size compared to a standard form or breed a toy dog
2 : designed or made for use as a toy a toy stove

Other Words from toy


toylike \ ˈtȯi-​ˌlīk How to pronounce toy (audio) \ adjective


toyer \ ˈtȯi-​ər How to pronounce toy (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for toy


trifle, toy, dally, flirt, coquet mean to deal with or act toward without serious purpose. trifle may imply playfulness, unconcern, indulgent contempt. to trifle with a lover's feelings toy implies acting without full attention or serious exertion of one's powers. a political novice toying with great issues dally suggests indulging in thoughts or plans merely as an amusement. dallying with the idea of building a boat someday flirt implies an interest or attention that soon passes to another object. flirted with one fashionable ism after another coquet implies attracting interest or admiration without serious intention. companies that coquet with environmentalism solely for public relations

Examples of toy in a Sentence

Noun Please put away your toys. He bought a new TV and a few other toys. Her latest toy is a sports car. Your car is just a toy compared to this truck. Verb the cat toyed with the mouse it had caught, batting it about likes to toy with men whom she has no intention of actually dating Adjective Put your toys back in the toy box . See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If only Bandai Spirits would re-release their Soul of Chogokin New Nautilus toy, all would be right with the world. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Since the leak, requests for donations to the Brigid Alliance and Planned Parenthood increasingly have shown up on baby registry sites alongside Lovevery toy subscriptions, Kanga Care cloth diaper kits and Uppababy stroller systems. Sonja Sharpstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 This pool toy storage idea is an easy, eco-friendly way to get organized. Mary Cornetta, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 2022 SpaceX, meanwhile, is having a busy year outside of the toy world. Chris Morris, Fortune, 21 July 2022 This is not the first time the toy giant has manufactured products to target kids' dreams of navigating outer space. Chiara Grimes, CNN, 21 July 2022 The toy water gun trend also recently turned deadly. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 Spin Master’s PlayStation toy line is expected to launch in spring 2024. J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 July 2022 Keep scrolling to check out all our budget-friendly interactive toy picks from Amazon below. Annie Burdick,, 20 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mattel Films and Skydance Media are developing a live-action film based on the Matchbox vehicles toy line. Wilson Chapman, Variety, 19 July 2022 The rumor that suggested Wanda might die in Multiverse of Madness also said Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) might toy with the idea of killing Wanda to save everyone else. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 June 2022 Here's another splash pad that works well as a shallow wading pool and can transform into a ball pit and toy zone during the winter months. Kathleen Willcox, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2022 There is a famous clip from a news conference in 1965, during that period when Dylan would toy with journalists. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 The question we're left to ponder is not whether Trump likes to toy with the idea of using violence. Michael D'antonio, CNN, 3 May 2022 But what other writers grab us with tales that toy with the very idea of reality? Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2022 Scenes unfold with anesthetizing sameness and little discernible effort by the filmmakers to toy with our nerves or tinker with our expectations. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2022 Quantum gravity seems to toy with nature’s architecture, making a mockery of the neat system of nested scales that EFT-wielding physicists have grown accustomed to. Quanta Magazine, 1 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Not surprisingly, the non-toy version was well beyond my household budget, and — less surprisingly, still — months on back order. Marci Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2022 Also, mom and dad are clearly, in non-toy form, overwhelmed and exhausted. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2021 That's why the Chron Shopping team has picked out some of our favorite non-toy gifts for kids to keep children engaged, active, and happy. Micolette Davis, Chron, 19 Nov. 2020 Try Amazon’s own toy subscription service, which boasts a subscription for children aged 3 to 13. Popular Science, 11 Oct. 2019 Scene transitions show toy cities, just like those used on the legendary children’s show, only Lloyd’s story is unfolding in Manhattan, rather than Pittsburgh. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, 22 Nov. 2019 Without proper safeguards—by parents, if not toy companies—children are at risk, both individually and through collection of aggregate data about kids’ activities. Marie-helen Maras, Scientific American, 10 May 2018 When the researchers presented plans for their study to tribe members who were trained research assistants, the assistants protested that the experiment—which involved watching children play with toy animals—was not culturally appropriate. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, 1 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'toy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of toy


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6a


circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1793, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for toy


Middle English toye

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The first known use of toy was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for toy


\ ˈtȯi How to pronounce toy (audio) \

Kids Definition of toy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something for a child to play with
2 : something of little or no value
3 : something small of its kind


toyed; toying

Kids Definition of toy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fidget or play with without thinking
2 : to think about something briefly and not very seriously He was toying with the idea of doing a whole book of drawings.— Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia
3 : to flirt with

More from Merriam-Webster on toy

Nglish: Translation of toy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about toy


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