Definition of toy in English:



  • 1An object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something.

    [as modifier] ‘a toy car’
    • ‘Miniature toy cars can drive with wet, painted tires over unusual papers.’
    • ‘The appeal gives gifts to newborns right up to 16-year-olds from cuddly toys and books to action toys and games, toiletries and CDs.’
    • ‘Using toys as scale models of their world, children taste, examine and set up their visions of larger worlds.’
    • ‘Her favourite dolls, cuddly toys and teddy bears are lined along her shelves and bed.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure when I was small, we had a toy - doll, car, train, whatever - and pretended it was what we wanted it to be.’
    • ‘Provide bright colored toys and toys like cars and trucks that move.’
    • ‘Replica toys can make it difficult for a child to be creative and imaginative.’
    • ‘There will be a range of automotive toys and model cars, boats and planes for children as well as a jumping castle, clowns, face painting and a care centre’
    • ‘The shop stocks a selection of second-hand books, bric-a-brac, models, toys, games and a selection of official Yorkshire Air Ambulance souvenirs.’
    • ‘Dozens of floral tributes, dolls and cuddly toys were placed on metal railings near the scene of the tragedy.’
    • ‘Some of the clothes on the hooks in the hallway were not mine; a child's toys, a few toy cars, stood in the corner.’
    • ‘And besides - have you ever tried making a 40 foot high replica of a stuffed toy out of pots of flowers?’
    • ‘The toy is modelled on the pint-sized singer, even down to her famous bottom.’
    • ‘If the toddler ignored the miniature toys for more than three or four minutes, however, we would draw attention to them.’
    • ‘Go about in the shops and buy any little toys and models that have special bearing on civilian life in its more peaceful aspects.’
    • ‘The black plastic bin liner contained teddy bears and other cuddly toys, Rosie and Jim dolls and a number of framed children's pictures.’
    • ‘The result is a digital rendering of each concept, and a full-size sculpted model of the toy in foam.’
    • ‘Does anybody else involve cuddly toys and dolls in their conversations?’
    • ‘Everything bar the kitchen sink has to go… from cuddly toys to the cars standing on their driveway.’
    • ‘As summer arrived, so did the big wooden crates bringing wonderful dolls, mechanical toys, pedal cars, tricycles, scooters, dolls' prams.’
    plaything, game
    model, miniature, imitation, make-believe, fake, simulation, artificial
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    1. 1.1An object, especially a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult.
      ‘in 1914 the car was still a rich man's toy’
      • ‘Slot machines are, in many respects, the toy adults never had before.’
      • ‘Many homes are now full of expensive gadgets and toys.’
      • ‘If you look at most Asian customers, many also tend to be much more experimental with toys and gadgets.’
      • ‘The investment looked canny as the market for gadgets and toys aimed at adults keeps growing.’
      • ‘They test quirky gadgets and toys for grown ups in between answering calls from their satisfied pundits.’
      • ‘In the light of this fashion for adult toys, the Sunday Herald is offering its readers a unique retail opportunity.’
      • ‘Beyond the techno-phobia of the previous generations, however, the new generation will play with these technological gadgets as toys of a whole new game.’
      • ‘Nowadays, we have all sorts of electronic toys and gadgets, which give us assistance, but when you switch them off, that's the result!’
      • ‘For years, people have joked that gadgets are basically just toys for grown ups.’
      • ‘The shop has been operating for more than three months, selling lingerie, adult toys and adult magazines, none of which requires a licence.’
      • ‘If nothing else, it will lead you deep into the jungle of new toys for your Linux machine.’
      • ‘Or take the perceived realities we create around us - the high-flying jobs, the gadgets and toys, the houses built to impress.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is upbeat, and there's all kinds of nifty geek toys and gadgets to be found down every aisle.’
      • ‘And big adult toys, like bikes and computers need plenty of new space.’
      • ‘Handhelds have evolved from toys for the gadget-crazed to truly useful devices.’
      • ‘Though my family is first in line, right up there in third place is gadgets, those geeky toys we all love to mess with.’
      • ‘Now that I have more gadgets and toys, I am more frustrated when there is no electricity to run them.’
      • ‘But now that they've got that little one that everyone carries around, that's a bit of an adult toy, too.’
      • ‘The leather interior alone is to die for and the toys and gadgets - though many - are thoughtfully laid out.’
      • ‘Most RVs have room to store adult toys, too, such as canoes, golf clubs, bicycles, and fishing gear.’
      trinket, bauble, knick-knack, ornament, gewgaw, trifle, gimcrack, bagatelle, triviality
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    2. 1.2A person treated by another as a source of pleasure or amusement rather than with due seriousness.
      ‘a man needed a friend, an ally, not an idol or a toy’
      • ‘Ilsa treats the inhabitants of her prison camp like toys to be played with and broken.’
      • ‘Sadly the drugs rapidly tired her out and she slumped back in humiliated defeat, a toy for his pleasure.’
  • 2[as modifier] Denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog.

    ‘a toy poodle’
    • ‘One can only hope they are of the toy variety, otherwise her family's apartment must get pretty crowded.’
    • ‘If you have a white toy poodle, you would want to place her on, or in front of, a black, blue or brown backdrop.’
    • ‘He stood at a podium, and beside him was a woman with a little toy poodle as carefully groomed as she was.’
    • ‘Some toy breeds can adapt happily to apartment life because their exercise requirements are modest.’
    • ‘He was judged against a flat-coated retriever, a giant schnauzer, an Old English sheepdog, a wire fox terrier, a saluki hound and Pekingese toy dog.’
    • ‘The latest sad news is that their tiny toy poodle has disappeared.’
    • ‘Toni Gale's toy pom, Trixie, is a real pensioner at the age of 10, and the family has noticed that she's getting on in years.’
    • ‘In England the cavalier, once thought to be on the verge of extinction, is the most popular toy breed.’
    • ‘Tell the interviewer that your white toy poodle is lost in that huge snowbank and you need help.’
    • ‘Inform your honey that you've had it with the hysteria and the shrieking, so her toy poodle has to go.’
    • ‘Unlike the show held in April, there were not many fancy and toy breeds.’
    • ‘Another example are some toy dogs which were bred to be a warning signals of invasion.’
    • ‘Just this past month Fifi, her fluffy white toy poodle passed away and the void is painful.’
    • ‘She also won first place in both the clipped terrier and toy and miniature poodle rounds, with help from miniature schnauzer Oscar and toy poodle Clive.’
    • ‘My ex-girlfriend had an apricot toy poodle and it was the best damned dog I've ever met.’
    • ‘So, after eating in the kitchen, I let my small toy poodle dog into the house, from the garage.’
    • ‘Like so many fashions in New York, Rosenthal says the surge in demand for toy dog breeds is largely celebrity-driven.’
    • ‘They had dogs of their own - a mastiff the size of a Humvee, and a tiny comma of a toy poodle.’
    • ‘The only dogs exempt from this rule are the toy breeds and puppies under 16 weeks of age.’
    • ‘Now after all that fuss, I don't think she should have picked up her two toy poodles to sit on her lap.’
    miniature, small, tiny, fun-size, diminutive, dwarf, midget, pygmy
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  • 1Move or handle (an object) absent-mindedly or nervously.

    ‘Alan toyed with his glasses’
    • ‘I start to toy around with the edge of his blanket.’
    • ‘A final thought made him drop the chair back onto four legs, stand up and toy nervously with the inkwell.’
    • ‘Damien picked up a photograph from the mantelpiece, toying idly with it.’
    • ‘‘Justin,’ I answered, toying nervously with the ends of my hideous plaid, pleated skirt.’
    • ‘But turn I did, rolling over slowly to face the girl standing in the doorway, toying nervously with her sleeve.’
    • ‘As Keira toyed absently with her fork on her empty plate, she asked Leah, ‘Talia's not coming with us, is she?’’
    • ‘For a moment we just stood there, holding each other, his head against my chest as I toyed absently with his hair.’
    • ‘Her long, slender fingers toyed nervously with the two rings she had on her right hand.’
    • ‘Her fingers toyed absently with the handle of the mug of ale before her.’
    • ‘Peter wasn't fooled; the officer toyed absently with a pencil and it snapped like a toothpick between his meaty fingers.’
    • ‘She thought it over as she toyed absently with a lock of hair behind one ear.’
    • ‘Then he stops short and mulls it over, fingers toying absently with the spoon in his teacup.’
    • ‘He was toying absently with a leaf that he had picked up, which made me wonder about what he was thinking.’
    1. 1.1Eat or drink (something) in an unenthusiastic way.
      ‘as the courses came and went, she could only toy with her food’
      fidget with, play, play about with, play around with, fiddle, fiddle about with, fiddle around with, fool about with, fool around with, tinker with, finger
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  • 2Consider (an idea or proposal) casually or indecisively.

    ‘I was toying with the idea of writing a book’
    • ‘She toyed briefly with the idea of torturing him for a little longer but decided that was just too cruel.’
    • ‘Biting my lip, I slid my arm in his and toyed around with calling her on it.’
    • ‘I toyed morosely with the idea that it had been worse this way - that the girls had come back and then left again, rather than just staying away.’
    • ‘I toyed for a while with the idea of a fake tattoo, but decided against it (I tended to get sweaty on stage and didn't want to look stupid when the tattoo melted).’
    • ‘I toyed around with the idea of waiting for awhile, until I could take a break from what I was working on.’
    • ‘I've been toying seriously with the idea of following him.’
    • ‘Jeff and I were toying around with the whole concept.’
    • ‘Having lived in Canada for 15 years, Mr. John had been toying for long with the idea of launching a channel to showcase his home State.’
    • ‘I toy around with the idea of attention or stardom, but never know what to do with it when the spotlight shines on me for a brief moment.’
    • ‘Last summer I toyed briefly with the idea of becoming a tour guide - lo and behold, here were my potential customers… anyway, there was the entertainment of watching a woman struggle with a friendly poodle she claimed wasn't hers.’
    • ‘I had been toying around with an idea for personalized feed subscriptions.’
    • ‘We toyed around with the idea of letting you start with special powers and higher level values at start-up but decided that that would hinder the accessibility of the game.’
    think idly about, play with, flirt with, trifle with, entertain the possibility of, consider, have thoughts about, argue the pros and cons of
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    1. 2.1Treat (someone or their feelings) in a superficially amorous way.
      ‘he had been toying with her that day on the river’
      • ‘He felt himself staring back, still wondering what she meant by what she had said; if it had some universal meaning or if she was toying around with him.’
      • ‘Not one to toy around with; she takes her schoolwork and her role in the rehab center very seriously.’
      • ‘She had found a new guy to toy around with for a while, a new senior by the name of Grant, and was immensely enjoying their daily hook up routines in random places all over the school.’
      • ‘What if he just wanted her to toy around with her for a while?’
      • ‘She just wanted to toy around a little with Adam but he obviously took it seriously.’
      flirt with, dally with, sport with, play with, amuse oneself with, trifle with, fool with
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Late Middle English: of unknown origin. The word originally denoted a funny story or remark, later an antic or trick, or a frivolous entertainment. The verb dates from the early 16th century.