[ taws, tos ]
See synonyms for: tosstossedtossingtosser on

verb (used with object),tossed or (Literary) tost; toss·ing.
  1. to throw, pitch, or fling, especially to throw lightly or carelessly: to toss a piece of paper into the wastebasket.

  2. to throw or send from one to another, as in play: to toss a ball.

  1. to throw or pitch with irregular or careless motions; fling or jerk about: The ship was tossed by waves.

  2. to agitate, disturb, or disquiet.

  3. to throw, raise, or jerk upward suddenly: She tossed her head disdainfully.

  4. to speak or express in a sudden offhand manner; interject: He tossed jokes into their serious discussion.

  5. to throw (a coin) into the air in order to decide something by the side turned up when it falls (sometimes followed by up).

  6. to toss a coin with (someone).

  7. to stir or mix (a salad) lightly until the ingredients are coated with the dressing.

verb (used without object),tossed or (Literary) tost; toss·ing.
  1. to pitch, rock, sway, or move irregularly, as a ship on a rough sea or a flag or plumes in the breeze.

  2. to fling or jerk oneself or move restlessly about, especially on a bed or couch: to toss in one's sleep.

  1. to throw something.

  2. to throw a coin into the air in order to decide something by the way it falls (sometimes followed by up).

  3. to go with a fling of the body: to toss out of a room in a fit of anger.

  1. an act or instance of tossing.

  2. a pitching about or up and down.

  1. a throw or pitch.

  2. the distance to which something is or may be thrown.

  3. a sudden fling or jerk of the body, especially a quick upward or backward movement of the head.

Verb Phrases
  1. toss off,

    • to accomplish quickly or easily.

    • to consume rapidly, especially to drink something up in one swallow: He tossed off a cocktail before dinner.

    • British Slang. to masturbate.

  2. toss up, Informal. to vomit.

Idioms about toss

  1. toss one's cookies, Slang. cookie (def. 8).

  2. toss one's hat in the ring. hat (def. 8).

Origin of toss

First recorded in 1595–1605; origin uncertain

synonym study For toss

1. See throw.

Other words from toss

  • tosser, noun
  • toss·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·tossed, adjective

Words Nearby toss Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use toss in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for toss


/ (tɒs) /

  1. (tr) to throw lightly or with a flourish, esp with the palm of the hand upwards

  2. to fling or be flung about, esp constantly or regularly in an agitated or violent way: a ship tosses in a storm

  1. to discuss or put forward for discussion in an informal way

  2. (tr) (of an animal such as a horse) to throw (its rider)

  3. (tr) (of an animal) to butt with the head or the horns and throw into the air: the bull tossed the matador

  4. (tr) to shake, agitate, or disturb

  5. to toss up a coin with (someone) in order to decide or allot something: I'll toss you for it; let's toss for it

  6. (intr) to move away angrily or impatiently: she tossed out of the room

  1. an abrupt movement

  2. a rolling or pitching motion

  1. the act or an instance of tossing

  2. the act of tossing up a coin: See toss up (def. 1)

  3. a fall from a horse or other animal

  4. argue the toss to wrangle or dispute at length

  5. give a toss slang to be concerned or interested (esp in the phrase not give a toss)

Origin of toss

C16: of Scandinavian origin; related to Norwegian, Swedish tossa to strew

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with toss


In addition to the idioms beginning with toss

  • toss off
  • toss one's cookies

also see:

  • throw away (toss out)
  • throw (toss) one's hat in the ring

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.