Definition of toy in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɔɪ/


1An object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something: [as modifier]: a toy car
More example sentences
  • There will be a range of automotive toys and model cars, boats and planes for children as well as a jumping castle, clowns, face painting and a care centre
  • Everything bar the kitchen sink has to go… from cuddly toys to the cars standing on their driveway.
  • Her favourite dolls, cuddly toys and teddy bears are lined along her shelves and bed.
plaything, game
model, miniature, imitation, make-believe, fake, simulation, artificial
1.1An object, especially a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult: in 1914 the car was still a rich man’s toy
More example sentences
  • The investment looked canny as the market for gadgets and toys aimed at adults keeps growing.
  • The shop has been operating for more than three months, selling lingerie, adult toys and adult magazines, none of which requires a licence.
  • But now that they've got that little one that everyone carries around, that's a bit of an adult toy, too.
trinket, bauble, knick-knack, ornament, gewgaw, trifle, gimcrack, bagatelle, triviality;
North American  kickshaw
informal whatnot
British informal doodah
1.2A person treated by another as a source of pleasure or amusement rather than with due seriousness: a man needed a friend, an ally, not an idol or a toy
More example sentences
  • Sadly the drugs rapidly tired her out and she slumped back in humiliated defeat, a toy for his pleasure.
  • Ilsa treats the inhabitants of her prison camp like toys to be played with and broken.
2 [as modifier] Denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog: a toy poodle
More example sentences
  • Unlike the show held in April, there were not many fancy and toy breeds.
  • He was judged against a flat-coated retriever, a giant schnauzer, an Old English sheepdog, a wire fox terrier, a saluki hound and Pekingese toy dog.
  • Like so many fashions in New York, Rosenthal says the surge in demand for toy dog breeds is largely celebrity-driven.
miniature, small, tiny, fun-size, diminutive, dwarf, midget, pygmy


[no object] (toy with)
1Consider (an idea or proposal) casually or indecisively: I was toying with the idea of writing a book
More example sentences
  • I had been toying around with an idea for personalized feed subscriptions.
  • I toyed around with the idea of waiting for awhile, until I could take a break from what I was working on.
  • I toy around with the idea of attention or stardom, but never know what to do with it when the spotlight shines on me for a brief moment.
think idly about, play with, flirt with, trifle with, entertain the possibility of, consider, have thoughts about, argue the pros and cons of
informal kick around/about
1.1Treat (someone or their feelings) in a superficially amorous way: he had been toying with her that day on the river
More example sentences
  • He felt himself staring back, still wondering what she meant by what she had said; if it had some universal meaning or if she was toying around with him.
  • She had found a new guy to toy around with for a while, a new senior by the name of Grant, and was immensely enjoying their daily hook up routines in random places all over the school.
  • What if he just wanted her to toy around with her for a while?
flirt with, dally with, sport with, play with, amuse oneself with, trifle with, fool with
2Move or handle (an object) absent-mindedly or nervously: Alan toyed with his glasses
More example sentences
  • Her fingers toyed absently with the handle of the mug of ale before her.
  • ‘Justin,’ I answered, toying nervously with the ends of my hideous plaid, pleated skirt.
  • But turn I did, rolling over slowly to face the girl standing in the doorway, toying nervously with her sleeve.
2.1Eat or drink (something) in an unenthusiastic way: as the courses came and went, she could only toy with her food
fidget with, play (about/around) with, fiddle (about/around) with, fool about/around with, tinker with, finger, twiddle (with);
nibble, pick at, gnaw (at), peck at, pick over, eat listlessly, eat like a bird
informal mess about/around with


throw one's toys out of the pram

British informal Behave in a childish and petulant way; have a tantrum: Lorenzo threw his toys out of the pram after being sent off
More example sentences
  • I say: you're never too old to throw your toys out of the pram.
  • This was all about making sure the Libs didn't throw their toys out of the pram.
  • Denis, it seems, is throwing his toys out of the pram.



Example sentences
  • Cell phones are toylike, nearly magic, and we get a huge kick out of them, as often happens with technological advances until the new wears off.
  • On each of the five vertical sections that made up the image, silhouetted shapes, colored geometric forms, flowers, furniture, twigs, toylike figures and indistinct shadows floated aimlessly through a viscous, horizonless space.
  • Considering the toylike quality of the car's aluminum frame clad in plastic panels, one hopes that the lights' purported safety function is worth the research-and-development dollars.


Late Middle English: of unknown origin. The word originally denoted a funny story or remark, later an antic or trick, or a frivolous entertainment. The verb dates from the early 16th century.

  • A toy was originally a funny story or remark, and later a prank, trick, or frivolous entertainment. The usual modern sense, of an object for a child to play with, dates from the late 16th century. Older women had taken up with younger men before the 1980s, but it took until then for the rhyming toy boy to appear. The origin of toy, like that of boy, is medieval but otherwise unknown.

Words that rhyme with toy

ahoy, alloy, Amoy, annoy, boy, buoy, cloy, coy, destroy, employ, enjoy, Hanoi, hoi polloi, hoy, Illinois, joy, koi, oi, ploy, poi, Roy, savoy, soy, tatsoi, trompe l'œil, troy

For editors and proofreaders

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