toss (tôs, tŏs)
v. tossed, toss·ing, toss·es
1. To throw lightly or casually or with a sudden jerk: tossed the shirt on the floor. See Synonyms at throw.
a. To throw or propel upward: The bull tossed him over the fence.
b. To throw or propel to the ground: The horse tossed its rider.
c. To cause to move from side to side or up and down: boats that were tossed by the storm.
d. To move or lift (the head) with a sudden motion.
3. To mix (food) lightly so as to cover with dressing or sauce: toss a salad.
4. To discuss informally; bandy: tossed the idea around.
a. To flip (coins) in order to decide an issue.
b. To flip coins with: I'll toss you to see who goes first.
a. To put in a given position, condition, or situation: tossed the suspect in jail.
b. To throw away; discard: I tossed the newspaper after reading it.
c. To disqualify or eject: The starter was tossed for throwing illegal pitches.
1. To be thrown here and there; be flung to and fro or up and down: The canoe tossed about on the waves.
2. To move about restlessly; twist and turn: toss in one's sleep.
3. To flip a coin to decide an issue.
a. The act of tossing something: the toss of a hat.
b. The distance that something is or can be tossed.
2. An abrupt upward movement, as of the head.
3. A flipping of a coin to decide an issue: The home team won the toss and elected to receive.
toss down Informal
To drink in one draft by suddenly tilting.
toss off InformalIdiom:
1. To drink up in one draft.
2. To do or finish quickly or casually: tosses off a blog entry every other day.
toss (one's) cookies
[Middle English tossen, possibly of Scandinavian origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.