toy

noun
\ 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

toy

verb
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

toy

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from toy

Noun

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

Verb

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

Choose the Right Synonym for toy

Verb

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

Toddler toys and a clothing rack in disarray—giving fans a very real (albeit brief) backstage look into the life of Queen Bey. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Beyoncé Posts a Rare, Raw Instagram Selfie From the Makeup Chair," 26 Apr. 2019 The sleep environment should be devoid of blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, or any other items that could possibly cause injury. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2019 Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper "Recall"," 9 Apr. 2019 In an industry that is losing ground to tech-forward toys, Barbie reported 12 percent growth in gross sales in the last quarter of 2018, a rise attributed in part to a more diverse array of dolls that resonate better with socially conscious parents. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Barbie's 60th Birthday Wish Was to Be More Inclusive. Now What?," 2 May 2019 Coins, batteries and toys accounted for most of the visits. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Swallowed toys, coins, batteries spark rise in tot ER visits," 12 Apr. 2019 In the early 1960s, there were no male toy figures popular with boys. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 Two didgeridoos were brought home along with three boomerangs and—usefully—a large toy box. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Baby Sussex's Gifts From Australian Fans Include 11 Stuffed Koalas and Three Boomerangs," 5 Apr. 2019 Last Christmas, the adorable, fluffy Scruff-a-Luvs were THE hot holiday toy of the season. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Easter Blossom Bunnies Scruff-a-Luvs Are the Perfect Last-Minute Gift for Kids," 17 Apr. 2019 And now anyone who has genuinely found fidget spinners to have helped them probably wouldn't be caught dead playing with one if only to avoid stares from strangers who think the toy is worthy of ridicule. Popular Mechanics, "This AirPods Case Is Also a Fidget Spinner," 11 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Huawei is far from the first company to get caught toying with benchmark results. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Huawei caught cheating benchmark test for P20," 6 Sep. 2018 Others said such penalties shouldn’t be toyed with in the political arena. Daniel Blue Tyx, Washington Post, "U.S. Catholic bishops to minister to children in border detention centers," 2 July 2018 Trump reformed the National Space Council, toyed with the idea of the Space Force as a new branch of the military, and praised human spaceflight as an arena where the United States could regain its pride and #win again. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Not Going Back to the Moon: A Brief Timeline," 27 Mar. 2019 And his critics in both parties, who toyed with the idea that Trump conspired with a foreign power to win the presidency, were knocked on their heels. Steve Peoples, The Seattle Times, "Mueller findings flip Trump debate in 2020 campaign," 25 Mar. 2019 Thankfully, your friends at Ars are back with recommendations that won't disappoint, since they're based on months of testing and toying with the many things that have hit our desks around the Orbiting HQ. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—tech and gear for travel that we’d buy," 13 Nov. 2018 Thompson grabbed seven rebounds in the first seven minutes as the Cavs jumped the Pacers early, toyed with them in the middle and pulled away late. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: LeBron and Cavs get this one but moment coming for Pacers, Victor Oladipo," 29 Apr. 2018 Another teammate approached from behind and toyed with his socks and tugged on the bottom of his baseball pants. Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, "Texas A&M defeats LSU for first SEC series win," 7 Apr. 2018 By leaning into and toying with that fundamental relationship, indie game Minit achieves something that feels referential and nostalgic and yet unique and exhilarating all at once. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Minit is a beautifully crafted love letter to classic games and the art of death," 7 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of toy

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

Verb

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for toy

Noun

Middle English toye

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toy

Dictionary Entries near toy

Toxostoma

toxotae

Toxotes

toy

Toyama

toy boy

toy dog

Statistics for toy

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toy

toy

noun

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

toy

adjective

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

toy

noun
\ 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

toy

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on toy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toy

Spanish Central: Translation of toy

Nglish: Translation of toy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about toy

Comments on toy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!