\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Candy Land owners, toy company Milton Bradley and later Hasbro, have done an impressive job of modernizing the game to keep up with the inevitable changes in tastes and sensibilities over the decades. Goldie Chan, Forbes, "Delicious Branding Lessons From Family Fun Classic Candy Land," 21 Apr. 2021 The toy company is working with former astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan to promote the launch of the shuttle set. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Lego is launching a Space Shuttle Discovery set with more than 2,300 pieces," 22 Mar. 2021 Hasbro, the toy company that bought Entertainment One in 2019, has put eOne's music operation on the block and is seeking a $600 million payday, according to sources. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Hasbro Floats Sale of eOne Music Assets, Including Lumineers' Label & Death Row Records," 17 Mar. 2021 The toy company is expanding the tech aspect of its brands, investing in products that seamlessly blend physical and digital play. The Economist, "Business this week," 13 Mar. 2021 Melissa & Doug co-founder opens up about her secret struggle Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of toy company Melissa & Doug, seemed to have it all. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (March 14)," 11 Mar. 2021 The toy company assured its customers that the iconic characters Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head wouldn't be going anywhere. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Brand values: Companies that have fallen victim to 'cancel culture' in the past year," 6 Mar. 2021 Zuru, the toy company that sells Mini Brands, has introduced dozens of household miniatures since their 2019 debut, including little Tresemmé bottles, little Babybel cheese rounds and little Wet Ones antibacterial wipes. New York Times, "The Grocery Store of the Mind," 2 Mar. 2021 But basketball fans, at least for now, are captivated by their shiny new toy. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "NBA Top Shot: Would you pay big money for Steph Curry 3-pointer or LeBron James dunk?," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Though anchored by a simple acoustic strum, frontman Wayne Coyne slathers his vocals in reverb, adding a psychedelic edge to the tune which the Lips continue to toy with throughout the track. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "The Flaming Lips Put a Psychedelic Spin on Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’," 29 Apr. 2021 That could lead Gonzalez to toy with his starting formation. Dallas News, "FC Dallas in search of goals, improvement against unique San Jose scheme in road opener," 23 Apr. 2021 Grey’s Anatomy season 17 continues to macabrely toy with the idea of killing off its heroine, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Ariana Romero,, "Grey’s Anatomy Killed Off A Major Character. This Is What It Means For Meredith," 12 Mar. 2021 The shell has a smooth coating to it that’s comfortable, but almost toy like. Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "The best gaming mouse of 2021," 26 Feb. 2021 One of the exhibit’s hands-on station lets folks toy with factors such as light and water to grow a crop. Dewayne Bevil,, "‘Planet Pioneers’ lands at Orlando Science Center," 25 Feb. 2021 The nonprofit Santee Santas Foundation has canceled its annual food and toy collection drives because of the COVID-19 shutdown. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Holiday collection drives in South and East County UPDATED," 19 Dec. 2020 The nonprofit Santee Santas Foundation has canceled its annual food and toy collection drives because of the COVID-19 shutdown. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Holiday collection drives in South and East County UPDATED," 19 Dec. 2020 The nonprofit Santee Santas Foundation has canceled its annual food and toy collection drives because of the COVID-19 shutdown. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Holiday collection drives in South and East County UPDATED," 19 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Also, mom and dad are clearly, in non-toy form, overwhelmed and exhausted. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "Love and divorce in a video game? The innovative and weird ‘It Takes Two’," 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, "The best gifts for kids that aren't toys," 19 Nov. 2020 Try Amazon’s own toy subscription service, which boasts a subscription for children aged 3 to 13. Popular Science, "Subscription boxes that’ll have you waiting by the door," 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, "Inside the Unlikely Friendship That Inspired A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," 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, "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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toy

Time Traveler for toy

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for toy

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

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

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toy



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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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