\ 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

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Other Words from toy


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


toyer \ ˈtȯi-​ər How to pronounce toyer (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 .
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Willowfork Fire Department is only able to accept donations of new and unwrapped toys in original packaging for infants through high school ages, gift cards, or checks made out to Toys for Tots. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Willowfork Fire Department hosts Toys for Tots," 15 Nov. 2019 Walgreens featured a handful of toys and gifts for 50% off. cleveland, "6 Places to shop on Black Friday 2019: Big-boxes and beyond," 14 Nov. 2019 Some Hall of Fame toys are still popular, but others date back to previous eras. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The 3 Toys That Made This Year's Toy Hall of Fame Class," 12 Nov. 2019 Visiting tots are greeted with a shelf full of toys and books to keep them occupied, or can head down the hall to a lounge area with a sofa and more playthings. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How Ariel Okin and Maisonette Created an Office Designed for Kids," 22 Oct. 2019 Here, the story touches on the notion of toys as adult collectibles and objects of desire but not affection. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "All 21 Disney Pixar Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best," 21 Oct. 2019 Noah’s Closet has a new selection of toys, books and last minute Halloween costumes., "Community News For The Windham Edition," 17 Oct. 2019 Rebecca Mond, who represents the Toy Association, says that gives an edge to manufacturers of toys that might be unsafe or fake. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Tariffs Are Creating Jobs — for Canadians," 9 Oct. 2019 Target's recent partnership illustrates the cascade of Disney toys and apparel that was a nearly $5 billion business last year. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "How will Target's new Disney shops compare with J.C. Penney's," 26 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Great writers have toyed with the idea of our being constantly watched—with disturbing results. The Economist, "Bartleby Don’t show, tell," 14 Nov. 2019 Trump publicly and privately criticized Sessions for virtually his entire tenure in the top law enforcement job and toyed constantly with firing him. Anchorage Daily News, "Attorney general declined to hold news conference saying Trump broke no laws in Ukraine call," 7 Nov. 2019 Trump publicly and privately attacked Sessions for virtually Sessions’s entire tenure in the top law enforcement job and toyed constantly with firing him. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Trump wanted Barr to hold news conference saying the president broke no laws in call with Ukrainian leader," 7 Nov. 2019 Golden Thread’s annual festival celebrates its 20th anniversary of presenting short plays inspired by or imported from the Middle East with seven plays that circumvent, defy or toy with stereotyped narratives., "‘Hansel and Gretel’ coming to opera houses," 5 Nov. 2019 Kotaku reported that Blizzard toyed with an announcement that never manifested. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "BlizzCon 2019: Blizzard announces Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands," 1 Nov. 2019 The announcement represents a bit of a turnaround for Infor, which in 2013 had publicly toyed with the idea of leaving Lawson Commons when its lease ran out in mid-2015. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Downtown St. Paul’s Lawson Commons is now Infor Commons as Infor plans to hire 100 more employees," 1 Oct. 2019 Clemson toyed with Syracuse before an 87-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter fueled the Tigers' 41-6 win. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Three takeaways from No. 1 Clemson's blowout win over Syracuse," 13 Sep. 2019 Stand-up paddleboard yoga is planned and the three brothers are toying with the idea of offering dive lessons too. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Visit the Wisconsin Dells for an overnight adventure," 14 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "4 Ways “Internet of Things” Toys Endanger Children," 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, "Culture Shapes How Children View the Natural World," 1 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of toy


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for toy


Middle English toye

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Learn More about toy

Statistics for toy

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for toy

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

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More Definitions for toy


How to pronounce toy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of toy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something a child plays with
sometimes disapproving : something that an adult buys or uses for enjoyment or entertainment
: something that is very small

English Language Learners Definition of toy (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, for, or relating to toys
: of a kind that is meant for a child to play with
used to describe an animal (such as a dog) that is the smallest kind of a particular breed


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on toy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toy

Spanish Central: Translation of toy

Nglish: Translation of toy for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on toy

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to speed up the process or progress of

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