1. An object for a child to play with.
2. Something that provides amusement: "The profit on a toy like a motorcycle or a snowmobile is maybe a tenth that on a solid family car" (John Updike).
a. A small ornament; a bauble.
b. Something of little importance; a trifle.
4. A diminutive thing, especially a dog of a very small breed or of a variety smaller than the standard variety of its breed.
5. Scots A loose covering for the head, formerly worn by women.
6. Chiefly Southern US A shooter marble.
intr.v. toyed, toy·ing, toys
1. To amuse oneself idly; trifle: a cat toying with a mouse.
2. To treat something casually or without seriousness: toyed with the idea of writing a play. See Synonyms at flirt.
[Middle English toye, amorous play, a piece of fun.]
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.