Nearby words

  1. tosca,
  2. toscana,
  3. toscanini,
  4. toscanini, arturo,
  5. tosh,
  6. toss off,
  7. toss one's cookies,
  8. toss up,
  9. toss-up,
  10. tossed salad


    toss one's cookies, Slang. cookie(def 7).

Origin of toss

First recorded in 1595–1605; origin uncertain

Related formstoss·er, nountoss·ing·ly, adverbun·tossed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for toss up

toss up

verb (adverb)

to spin (a coin) in the air in order to decide between alternatives by guessing which side will fall uppermost
(tr) to prepare (food) quickly

noun toss-up

an instance of tossing up a coin
informal an even chance or risk; gamble


/ (tɒs) /



Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for toss up



c.1500, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. dialectal Norwegian tossa "to strew, spread"). Related: Tossed; tossing. Food preparation sense (with reference to salad, etc.) is recorded from 1723. The noun meaning "an act of throwing" is first recorded 1650s. Tosspot "heavy drinker" is from 1560s. Toss-up "even matter" first recorded 1809, from earlier sense of "a flipping of a coin to arrive at a decision" (c.1700). Tosser as a term of contempt in British slang is recorded from 1977, probably from slang toss off "masturbate" (1969); cf. jerk (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with toss up


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.