Definition of toss in English:

Share this entry

toss

Pronunciation: /tôs/
/täs/

verb

1 [with object] Throw (something) somewhere lightly, easily, or casually: Suzy tossed her bag onto the sofa [with two objects]: she tossed me a box of matches
More example sentences
  • I reached home and casually tossed the baggie onto a table.
  • Jonnie shuts the phone and casually tosses it onto the dresser.
  • The doctor slumps back in his chair, and casually tosses his glasses onto the paper-stacked desk.
Synonyms
throw, hurl, fling, sling, cast, pitch, lob, project
informal heave, chuck
1.1(Of a horse) throw (a rider) off its back.
Example sentences
  • Diving into the nearby meadow, she could do nothing but glance up in horror as the horse reared and tossed its rider onto a grassy patch beside her.
  • My three year old stud colt had tossed me right in the middle of the arena.
  • Zimmerman was tossed to the ground and was hit slightly by a passing horse when he attempted to get to the inside rail.
1.2Throw (a coin) into the air in order to make a decision between two alternatives, based on which side of the coin faces up when it lands: we could just toss a coin
More example sentences
  • It was a try - I never put my foot in touch - but the linesman was tossing the coin for decisions all game so I didn't know what he'd say.
  • Archie is an indecisive Englishman who can only make a decision after tossing a coin.
  • If you were a quantum mechanic tossing a coin, it would land on the table, but no particular side would be facing up until you looked at it.
Synonyms
flip, flick
1.3Settle a matter with (someone) by doing this: I’ll toss you for it
1.4Move or cause to move from side to side or back and forth: [no object]: the tops of the olive trees swayed and tossed [with object]: the yachts were tossed around in the harbor like toys [as adjectivein combination]: (-tossed) wind-tossed lakes
More example sentences
  • I could tell his leg was broken by the way it didn't move with the rest of him as he tossed and turned, I could tell it was hurting just to do so.
  • I tossed and turned, not due to any specific problem, but in retrospect, I realize I was worried about him going to school.
  • I could not get to sleep last night, I just tossed and turned until I finally did fall asleep at about 6: 30AM.
Synonyms
pitch, lurch, rock, roll, plunge, reel, list, keel, sway, wallow, flounder
thrash, squirm, wriggle, writhe, fidget, turn
1.5Jerk (one’s head or hair) sharply backward: Paula pursed her lips and tossed her head
More example sentences
  • Nicole voiced in confusion, her newly blonde-streaked brown hair swishing as she tossed her head up to look at us.
  • The light breeze caught her hair and sent it flying backwards as she tossed her head.
  • She tossed her long hair backwards and gallantly stood awaiting my reaction.
1.6Shake or turn (food) in a liquid, so as to coat it lightly: toss the pasta in the sauce
More example sentences
  • Shake skillet, tossing beans to coat with oil, garlic, and breadcrumbs.
  • Later, the girls all sat down for a rather light meal consisting of chicken, curry, tossed salad, and baked potatoes.
  • Drizzle dressing over chicken mixture, tossing to coat salad ingredients evenly.
Synonyms
shake, stir, turn, mix, combine
2 [with object] North American informal Search (a place): I could demand her keys and toss her office

noun

1An action or instance of tossing something: a defiant toss of her head the toss of a coin
More example sentences
  • Come on, this whodunit tale is quite engrossing with its frequent tosses, turns and twists.
  • He was probably sitting upright in bed, his untidy brown hair, that I teased never had seen a hair brush before, in a horrifying mess, from all the tosses and turns he made in his sleep.
  • He blocked errant pitches in the dirt, expertly framed borderline tosses, turning them into strikes and worked masterfully with pitchers.
1.1 (the toss) The action of tossing a coin as a method of deciding which team has the right to make a particular decision at the beginning of a game: we’d win the toss and keep the ball
More example sentences
  • In three of them, the team winning the toss won the games.
  • It goes without saying any team which wins the toss will choose to bat.
  • Winning the toss isn't such a blessing here - in nine games, the team losing the toss has won on seven occasions, including the last five ODIs.

Phrases

1

toss one's cookies

North American informal Vomit.
Example sentences
  • People might want to see you drunk and having a good time but nobody wants to see you tossing your cookies into the potted plant in the corner.
  • When a number of us landlubbers became quite seasick, Victor decided it would be funny to capture the experience on film and began taking photos of his employees tossing their cookies overboard.
  • So we ended up going to this Chinese restaurant, and to cut a long story short, I wasn't even able to manage to take three mouthfuls before running to the ladies room and tossing my cookies.
2

tossing the caber

see caber.

Phrasal verbs

toss something off

1Drink something rapidly or all at once: Roger tossed off a full glass of Sauternes
More example sentences
  • The other was dawdling with the bottle, and Martin refused to wait for him, tossing the glass off in a gulp and refilling it.
2Produce something rapidly or without thought or effort: some of the best letters are tossed off in a burst of inspiration
More example sentences
  • Some level of effort went into making this album… it wasn't tossed off, but that's maybe more of a damnation than a praise.
  • I find it kinda funny that when I feel at my worst and post, no one seems to say anything, but when I toss something off in a mini-haze combination of tired and mildly down, everyone's there.
  • The songs - the best they have written since Some Girls in '78-sound as if they were tossed off, like rock 'n' roll is supposed to.

Origin

Early 16th century: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with toss

across, boss, Bros, cos, cross, crosse, doss, dross, emboss, en brosse, floss, fosse, gloss, Goss, joss, Kos, lacrosse, loss, moss, MS-DOS, Ross

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: toss

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.