Definition of toss in English:

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Pronunciation: /tôs/
Pronunciation: /täs/


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.
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.
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.
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.
shake, stir, turn, mix, combine
2 [with object] North American informal Search (a place): I could demand her keys and toss her office


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.



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.

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.


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

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