from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To throw lightly or casually or with a sudden slight jerk: tossed the shirt on the floor. See Synonyms at throw.
  • transitive v. To throw, fling, or heave continuously about; pitch to and fro: boats that were tossed by the storm.
  • transitive v. To throw upward: The bull tossed him over the fence.
  • transitive v. To mix (a salad) lightly so as to cover with dressing.
  • transitive v. To discuss informally; bandy: tossed the idea around.
  • transitive v. To move or lift (the head) with a sudden motion: "tossing their heads in sprightly dance” ( William Wordsworth).
  • transitive v. To disturb or agitate; upset.
  • transitive v. To throw to the ground: ducked the blow and tossed his opponent.
  • transitive v. To flip (coins) in order to decide an issue.
  • transitive v. To flip coins with: I'll toss you to see who goes first.
  • transitive v. To put in a given position, condition, or situation: tossed the criminal in jail.
  • transitive v. To throw away; discard: I tossed the newspaper after reading it.
  • transitive v. To disqualify or eject: The starter was tossed for throwing illegal pitches.
  • intransitive v. To be thrown here and there; be flung to and fro.
  • intransitive v. To move about restlessly; twist and turn: toss in one's sleep.
  • intransitive v. To flip a coin to decide an issue.
  • n. The act of tossing or the condition of being tossed.
  • n. The distance that something is or can be tossed.
  • n. An abrupt upward movement, as of the head.
  • n. 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 Informal To drink up in one draft.
  • toss off Informal To do or finish effortlessly or casually: "technicians who can toss off the Romantic blockbusters with stupendous speed” ( Annalyn Swan).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A throw, a lob, of a ball etc., with an initial upward direction, particularly with a lack of care.
  • n. The toss of a coin before a cricket match in order to decide who bats first, or before a football match in order to decide the direction of play.
  • n. A jot, in the phrase 'give a toss'.
  • v. To throw with an initial upward direction.
  • v. To flip a coin, to decide a point of contention.
  • v. To discard: to toss out
  • v. To stir or mix (a salad).
  • v. To masturbate
  • v. To search (a room or a cell), sometimes leaving visible disorder, as for valuables or evidence of a crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A throwing upward, or with a jerk; the act of tossing.
  • n. A throwing up of the head; a particular manner of raising the head with a jerk.
  • intransitive v. To roll and tumble; to be in violent commotion; to write; to fling.
  • intransitive v. To be tossed, as a fleet on the ocean.
  • transitive v. To throw with the hand; especially, to throw with the palm of the hand upward, or to throw upward.
  • transitive v. To lift or throw up with a sudden or violent motion.
  • transitive v. To cause to rise and fall.
  • transitive v. To agitate; to make restless.
  • transitive v. Hence, to try; to harass.
  • transitive v. To keep in play; to tumble over.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In cricket, to bowl (a full-pitch).
  • To refine (tin) by fusing it and then causing the molten metal to fall in thin filaments through the air. Oxidizable impurities acted on by the air are separated out and form a scum which is skimmed off, after the stream has come to rest in the receiving vessel.
  • To lift, heave, or throw up with a sudden, impatient, or spirited movement; jerk: as, to toss one's head.
  • To jerk or fling to and fro; heave or pitch up and down or from one place to another; tumble or throw about.
  • In mining, to separate (ore) from the gangue by stirring (tossing) the slimes with water in a keeve, and then allowing the heavier, valuable parts to settle, this operation being hastened by packing, or striking the sides of the keeve with an iron bar held vertically with one end resting on the ground, an operation which may be continued from a quarter of an hour to an hour.
  • To cast; pitch; fling; hurl; specifically, to throw with the palm of the hand upward; throw lightly or carelessly.
  • Figuratively, to disquiet; agitate; set in commotion, as by shifting opinions, feelings, circumstances, or influences; disturb; disorder.
  • To pass from one to another, as in conversation or discussion; bandy.
  • To turn over and over; busy one's self with; turn the leaves of, as a book or lesson.
  • To toss up with. See to toss up, under II.
  • Same as to toss off (which see, below).
  • To dress hastily or smartly; trick: with out.
  • To dispose of; pass off; while away: said of time.
  • To jerk or throw one's self about; roll or tumble about; be restless or uneasy; fling.
  • To be flung or rocked about; be kept in motion.
  • Same as to toss up (which see, below).
  • n. In cricket, a ball bowled so as to reach the batsman before touching the ground;. a full-pitch.
  • n. A sudden fling or jerk; especially, a quick movement of the head backward or upward.
  • n. A pitch; a throw: as, the toss of a ball or a coin.
  • n. The distance over which one tosses anything; a throw.
  • n. A state of agitation or excitement; a commotion.
  • n. A toss-up: with reference to a case in which chance decides.
  • n. The mow or bay of a barn into which grain is put preparatory to threshing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. lightly throw to see which side comes up
  • n. the act of flipping a coin
  • v. throw carelessly
  • v. throw or cast away
  • v. throw or toss with a light motion
  • n. (sports) the act of throwing the ball to another member of your team
  • v. move or stir about violently
  • n. an abrupt movement
  • v. agitate


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English tossen, possibly of Scandinavian origin.


  • _toss_, some of the boys sat still, looking at Marco, and not knowing what to do; others raised their oars into the air, some one way and some another; and Joseph, who was a little discomposed by the rebuff he had met with, concluded that he would obey as literally as possible, let what would come of it and he gave his oar a high toss into the air.

    Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels; Vermont

  • But if winning the coin toss is (nearly) tantamout to winning the overtime, then what is the point?

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • Once the coin toss is flipped, once 800 airplanes fly over, once the fireworks go off, once the top 15 singers in the country sing, once the circus gets done juggling and the elephants leave and the giraffes leave, I'm pretty sure my playbook is going to be the same. - Super Watch: Three days to go

  • The rest of them, the eight yellow states here, are all what we call toss-up states, true swing states where it could go one way or the other.

    CNN Transcript Sep 26, 2008

  • But before the game begins, he'll take part in a pre-game coin toss, which is ceremonial.

    CNN Transcript Dec 1, 2001

  • Willem lost the coin toss, meaning that there was no coin at all and I just gave him one of my carefully patented looks until he broke down like an old jalopy, and so he went to Walgreens for replacement 9-volt batteries.

    One More Thing

  • JB, is it possible to have Caitlin toss a grappling hook around a sattelite tower as her descent reaches building level?

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Gentlemen’s Club.

  • Seattle did not come from a coin toss, but the 'environmentalist' speech attributed to him is a fraud.

    Malcolm on the mall (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • We chose a campground a pebble's toss from the beach, next to two middle-aged guys from Canada who, it turned out, were there for the nudist scene.

    Mexico's endless Pacific beach: sun, surf, sand, seafood and solitude

  • A: Do you you have a “reason to believe” that this coin toss will come upheads?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Video of the Stuntz Conference


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