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’
    • ‘Everything bar the kitchen sink has to go… from cuddly toys to the cars standing on their driveway.’
    • ‘Replica toys can make it difficult for a child to be creative and imaginative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Does anybody else involve cuddly toys and dolls in their conversations?’
    • ‘Provide bright colored toys and toys like cars and trucks that move.’
    • ‘Using toys as scale models of their world, children taste, examine and set up their visions of larger worlds.’
    • ‘The toy is modelled on the pint-sized singer, even down to her famous bottom.’
    • ‘The black plastic bin liner contained teddy bears and other cuddly toys, Rosie and Jim dolls and a number of framed children's pictures.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her favourite dolls, cuddly toys and teddy bears are lined along her shelves and bed.’
    • ‘Go about in the shops and buy any little toys and models that have special bearing on civilian life in its more peaceful aspects.’
    • ‘As summer arrived, so did the big wooden crates bringing wonderful dolls, mechanical toys, pedal cars, tricycles, scooters, dolls' prams.’
    • ‘Miniature toy cars can drive with wet, painted tires over unusual papers.’
    • ‘And besides - have you ever tried making a 40 foot high replica of a stuffed toy out of pots of flowers?’
    • ‘If the toddler ignored the miniature toys for more than three or four minutes, however, we would draw attention to them.’
    • ‘The result is a digital rendering of each concept, and a full-size sculpted model of the toy in foam.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    plaything, game
    model, miniature, imitation, make-believe, fake, simulation, artificial
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    1. 1.1 An object, especially a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult.
      ‘in 1914 the car was still a rich man's toy’
      • ‘Nowadays, we have all sorts of electronic toys and gadgets, which give us assistance, but when you switch them off, that's the result!’
      • ‘Many homes are now full of expensive gadgets and toys.’
      • ‘They test quirky gadgets and toys for grown ups in between answering calls from their satisfied pundits.’
      • ‘Though my family is first in line, right up there in third place is gadgets, those geeky toys we all love to mess with.’
      • ‘And big adult toys, like bikes and computers need plenty of new space.’
      • ‘For years, people have joked that gadgets are basically just toys for grown ups.’
      • ‘Or take the perceived realities we create around us - the high-flying jobs, the gadgets and toys, the houses built to impress.’
      • ‘If you look at most Asian customers, many also tend to be much more experimental with toys and gadgets.’
      • ‘Most RVs have room to store adult toys, too, such as canoes, golf clubs, bicycles, and fishing gear.’
      • ‘The leather interior alone is to die for and the toys and gadgets - though many - are thoughtfully laid out.’
      • ‘The investment looked canny as the market for gadgets and toys aimed at adults keeps growing.’
      • ‘Slot machines are, in many respects, the toy adults never had before.’
      • ‘But now that they've got that little one that everyone carries around, that's a bit of an adult toy, too.’
      • ‘The shop has been operating for more than three months, selling lingerie, adult toys and adult magazines, none of which requires a licence.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is upbeat, and there's all kinds of nifty geek toys and gadgets to be found down every aisle.’
      • ‘Handhelds have evolved from toys for the gadget-crazed to truly useful devices.’
      • ‘In the light of this fashion for adult toys, the Sunday Herald is offering its readers a unique retail opportunity.’
      • ‘If nothing else, it will lead you deep into the jungle of new toys for your Linux machine.’
      • ‘Now that I have more gadgets and toys, I am more frustrated when there is no electricity to run them.’
      • ‘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.’
      trinket, bauble, knick-knack, ornament, gewgaw, trifle, gimcrack, bagatelle, triviality
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    2. 1.2 A 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.’
  • 2as modifier Denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog.

    ‘a toy poodle’
    • ‘Unlike the show held in April, there were not many fancy and toy breeds.’
    • ‘One can only hope they are of the toy variety, otherwise her family's apartment must get pretty crowded.’
    • ‘They had dogs of their own - a mastiff the size of a Humvee, and a tiny comma of a toy poodle.’
    • ‘My ex-girlfriend had an apricot toy poodle and it was the best damned dog I've ever met.’
    • ‘Now after all that fuss, I don't think she should have picked up her two toy poodles to sit on her lap.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just this past month Fifi, her fluffy white toy poodle passed away and the void is painful.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like so many fashions in New York, Rosenthal says the surge in demand for toy dog breeds is largely celebrity-driven.’
    • ‘Another example are some toy dogs which were bred to be a warning signals of invasion.’
    • ‘The only dogs exempt from this rule are the toy breeds and puppies under 16 weeks of age.’
    • ‘Tell the interviewer that your white toy poodle is lost in that huge snowbank and you need help.’
    • ‘He stood at a podium, and beside him was a woman with a little toy poodle as carefully groomed as she was.’
    • ‘If you have a white toy poodle, you would want to place her on, or in front of, a black, blue or brown backdrop.’
    • ‘So, after eating in the kitchen, I let my small toy poodle dog into the house, from the garage.’
    • ‘In England the cavalier, once thought to be on the verge of extinction, is the most popular toy breed.’
    • ‘Some toy breeds can adapt happily to apartment life because their exercise requirements are modest.’
    • ‘Inform your honey that you've had it with the hysteria and the shrieking, so her toy poodle has to go.’
    • ‘The latest sad news is that their tiny toy poodle has disappeared.’
    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’
    • ‘Then he stops short and mulls it over, fingers toying absently with the spoon in his teacup.’
    • ‘As Keira toyed absently with her fork on her empty plate, she asked Leah, ‘Talia's not coming with us, is she?’’
    • ‘Damien picked up a photograph from the mantelpiece, toying idly with it.’
    • ‘A final thought made him drop the chair back onto four legs, stand up and toy nervously with the inkwell.’
    • ‘She thought it over as she toyed absently with a lock of hair behind one ear.’
    • ‘He was toying absently with a leaf that he had picked up, which made me wonder about what he was thinking.’
    • ‘‘Justin,’ I answered, toying nervously with the ends of my hideous plaid, pleated skirt.’
    • ‘For a moment we just stood there, holding each other, his head against my chest as I toyed absently with his hair.’
    • ‘But turn I did, rolling over slowly to face the girl standing in the doorway, toying nervously with her sleeve.’
    • ‘Her long, slender fingers toyed nervously with the two rings she had on her right hand.’
    • ‘I start to toy around with the edge of his blanket.’
    • ‘Peter wasn't fooled; the officer toyed absently with a pencil and it snapped like a toothpick between his meaty fingers.’
    • ‘Her fingers toyed absently with the handle of the mug of ale before her.’
    1. 1.1 Eat or drink (something) in an unenthusiastic way.
      ‘as the courses came and went, she could only toy with her food’
      fidget with, play with, play about with, play around with, fiddle with, fiddle about with, fiddle around with, fool about with, fool around with, tinker with, finger, twiddle, twiddle with
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  • 2Consider (an idea or proposal) casually or indecisively.

    ‘I was toying with the idea of writing a book’
    • ‘So you'd been toying with the idea for a while?’
    • ‘It's not so much rock and roll as it is proto-punk, recalling the days when bands didn't yet know it was okay to spew their bile out on record, but were toying with the idea in vague mockeries of pop melodies.’
    • ‘At any rate, I was considering the whole blogging thing and was toying with the idea of just quitting altogether, packing it up and saying ‘Adios Amigos!’’
    • ‘He had toyed with the idea of writing a novel about the Labor movement, with a Eugene Debs character at its center, for some time, and would continue to do so, but in the end the novel never got written.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She had also toyed with the idea of being a chicken farmer but considered the risks too high.’
    • ‘The airline industry has been toying with the idea of merging religion with air flight for quite a while now.’
    • ‘Last week I was toying with the idea of not returning to college.’
    • ‘White toyed with the idea of resistance, but a casual glance at the guards' belts immediately reminded him of the repercussions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We were toying with the idea of recreating something of the lost, recent history, but soon found it a bit too obvious and deadpan to just restage one of the old dirty bars which used to be in the area.’
    • ‘I had been toying around with an idea for personalized feed subscriptions.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘She toyed briefly with the idea of torturing him for a little longer but decided that was just too cruel.’
    • ‘Jeff and I were toying around with the whole concept.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Biting my lip, I slid my arm in his and toyed around with calling her on it.’
    • ‘Goaded by leftist privacy advocates, Congress has been toying with the idea of regulating the private sector in the name of privacy.’
    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. 2.1 Treat (someone or their feelings) in a superficially amorous way.
      ‘he had been toying with her that day on the river’
      • ‘As a pretty girl from a respectable family, she toys with her beaux - little boys who must play the love game by her rules.’
      • ‘Life is good, but seriously Bill, you're way too easy to toy with.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They toyed with me over the phone stuff a few weeks ago.’
      • ‘I don't know, Mitch, what the psychiatrists or psychologists on our panel are going to say, but others today have been saying that he is toying with us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not one to toy around with; she takes her schoolwork and her role in the rehab center very seriously.’
      • ‘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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  • throw one's toys out of the pram

    • informal Behave in a childish and petulant way; have a tantrum.

      ‘Lorenzo threw his toys out of the pram after being sent off’
      • ‘At that stage, it will be too late to stomp our feet, scream or throw our toys out of the pram.’
      • ‘Denis, it seems, is throwing his toys out of the pram.’
      • ‘There is 40 points up for grabs, but Ralf has thrown his toys out of the pram (again).’
      • ‘We fought a couple of world wars against people like this and I believe they should go somewhere else to throw their toys out of the pram.’
      • ‘I say: you're never too old to throw your toys out of the pram.’
      • ‘Gordon responded by throwing his toys out of the pram and trying another argument.’
      • ‘This was all about making sure the Libs didn't throw their toys out of the pram.’
      • ‘No need to throw your toys out of the pram’
      • ‘It seems that finally the government is throwing its toys out of the pram over this.’
      • ‘It seems to me like he's throwing his toys out of the pram because he can't play in the position he wants.’


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.