Definition of toss in English:

toss

verb

  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Throw (something) somewhere lightly, easily, or casually.

    ‘Suzy tossed her bag onto the sofa’
    with two objects ‘she tossed me a box of matches’
    • ‘‘I'll pack your stuff,’ Kit said, while tossing her bag lightly onto the bed from the desk.’
    • ‘He pulled out a soccer jersey and casually tossed it to Jason.’
    • ‘Nodding firmly, Junko casually tossed the dress back into the box and followed her uncle into the kitchen.’
    • ‘She flashed another smile as she casually tossed the towel back to him, taking another sip of her drink.’
    • ‘Please enjoy how Bill just casually tosses a floppy disc in the air.’
    • ‘After turning the pillow 45 degrees and back again, she might have tossed it casually on the sofa.’
    • ‘Upon our arrival, several large men unloaded the car and casually tossed the old machines into the growing pile pictured below.’
    • ‘He casually tossed a knife into the air, and it was that motion that caught Kim's attention.’
    • ‘Mac tossed his duffel bag onto one of the two beds in their rented room, then glanced around.’
    • ‘She glanced sideways at Nadeline, who nodded and took out the bag, tossing it casually on the table, the sound of coins echoing through the pub.’
    • ‘Reaching into his own lunch bag, he lightly tossed a satsuma her way.’
    • ‘But, you don't have to go far before you see someone casually toss a sweet wrapper or half-eaten lolly onto the ground.’
    • ‘Three middle-aged men hold their fags in their mouths as they casually toss their plastic chips on to the numbered grid at their fingertips.’
    • ‘I shrugged, tossed the shuttle casually to my right, and smacked it anywhere over the net.’
    • ‘Inevitably my stepfather would pull a box of Entenmann's doughnuts out of a brown paper bag and toss it onto the counter.’
    • ‘I reached home and casually tossed the baggie onto a table.’
    • ‘The doctor slumps back in his chair, and casually tosses his glasses onto the paper-stacked desk.’
    • ‘I rolled my eyes, zipped up my bag, and tossed it onto my bed, pacing around the room as I thought further.’
    • ‘Jonnie shuts the phone and casually tosses it onto the dresser.’
    • ‘He turned around and saw me standing about fifteen feet away from him, tossing a rock casually.’
    throw, hurl, cast, fling, sling, pitch, shy, lob, propel, launch, project, send, dash, bowl
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    1. 1.1 (of a horse) throw (a rider) off its back.
      • ‘Diving into the nearby meadow, she could do nothing but glance up in horror as the horse reared and tossed its rider onto a grassy patch beside her.’
      • ‘My three year old stud colt had tossed me right in the middle of the arena.’
      • ‘Zimmerman was tossed to the ground and was hit slightly by a passing horse when he attempted to get to the inside rail.’
    2. 1.2 Throw (a coin) into the air in order to make a decision between two alternatives, based on which side of the coin faces up when it lands.
      ‘we could just toss a coin’
      • ‘A coin will be tossed to determine who will make the first opening statement.’
      • ‘If you were a quantum mechanic tossing a coin, it would land on the table, but no particular side would be facing up until you looked at it.’
      • ‘I wondered how many of them had been granted, and momentarily debated whether or not tossing in a coin would help my situation.’
      • ‘I have juggled with the report's contents, even tossing up a coin to see if Sean was serious or had a good old belly laugh as he wrote it.’
      • ‘Burnett and Skyner milked the applause, shook hands, sent over a few practice swings and tossed up for who was going first.’
      • ‘It was a try - I never put my foot in touch - but the linesman was tossing the coin for decisions all game so I didn't know what he'd say.’
      • ‘I tossed up calling Katelyn and telling her, but I figured that we probably weren't meant to know.’
      • ‘With a probability of 51%, a coin will land on the same side that it was tossed from.’
      • ‘Archie is an indecisive Englishman who can only make a decision after tossing a coin.’
      • ‘Imagine tossing a coin until it lands heads-up, and suppose that the payoff grows exponentially according to the number of tosses you make.’
      • ‘For example, after tossing a coin many times, it will land ‘heads up’ nine times in a row.’
      flip, flick, spin, twist
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    3. 1.3 Settle a matter with (someone) by tossing a coin.
      ‘I'll toss you for it’
  • 2Move or cause to move from side to side or back and forth.

    with object ‘the yachts were tossed around in the harbor like toys’
    no object ‘the tops of the olive trees swayed and tossed’
    as adjective in combination ‘wind-tossed lakes’
    • ‘He had tossed and turned, wondering what he should do with Angela.’
    • ‘I could not get to sleep last night, I just tossed and turned until I finally did fall asleep at about 6: 30AM.’
    • ‘As for the solicitous spouse… they probably started the day complaining bitterly about the patient having tossed and turned all night long.’
    • ‘Night after night I tossed and turned, racking my brain.’
    • ‘Instead I tossed and turned for virtually the whole night.’
    • ‘Christopher tossed and turned throughout the evening, dreaming and waking and starting the cycle over again.’
    • ‘Natasha groaned to herself as she tossed and turned on her bed.’
    • ‘I tossed and turned last night, waking every 2 hours hoping that it was morning, praying that it wasn't.’
    • ‘I tossed and turned all night, tired but unable to sleep.’
    • ‘Shrugging, she tossed and turned for awhile, willing herself back to sleep, finally, she managed to drop off.’
    • ‘Sierra tossed and turned, begging for sleep that refused to come.’
    • ‘Sakazawa was tossed and shaken as the ship bore the brunt of the attack.’
    • ‘So he tossed and turned, pretending to awaken, then feigned surprise at seeing the lady of the castle upon opening his eyes.’
    • ‘Others tossed and turned to catch the elusive sleep.’
    • ‘I could tell his leg was broken by the way it didn't move with the rest of him as he tossed and turned, I could tell it was hurting just to do so.’
    • ‘I tossed and turned, not due to any specific problem, but in retrospect, I realize I was worried about him going to school.’
    • ‘She tossed and turned before eventually falling asleep.’
    • ‘She tossed and turned in bed and finally gave up, getting out of bed to check her email, and a possible update from either Noelle or Jean.’
    • ‘Jane tossed and turned for thirty so minutes, not able to find the right position, and unable to settle because of the thunder storm.’
    • ‘We tossed and turned, followed by long embracement like we've been longing for each other throughout our whole lives.’
    • ‘All that night, the Princess tossed and turned.’
    flail, thrash about, roll, tumble
    lurch, reel, list, keel, veer, labour, flounder, plunge, rock, roll, sway, undulate, pitch, heave, wallow, make heavy weather
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    1. 2.1 Jerk (one's head or hair) sharply backward.
      ‘Paula pursed her lips and tossed her head’
      • ‘The light breeze caught her hair and sent it flying backwards as she tossed her head.’
      • ‘But she inhaled sharply, bit down hard on her lower lip, and tossed her hair.’
      • ‘Morgan's lips twisted and he tossed his sandy brown hair out of his face.’
      • ‘The golden horse tossed his head, long cream colored mane whipping, and whinnied shrilly.’
      • ‘Kish turned sharply enough to toss his hair behind his pointed ear.’
      • ‘Andy twisted her lips in a wry smile and tossed her dyed black hair over her shoulder.’
      • ‘She stared at him flatly, tossing her head to get her hair out of her eyes.’
      • ‘My mother's bobbed hair blew into her face, and she tossed her head to make it fly back in place.’
      • ‘She tossed her long hair backwards and gallantly stood awaiting my reaction.’
      • ‘Her lip trembled and she tossed her head, but she didn't answer, which was probably the best response she could have made.’
      • ‘I leaned over the windowsill, tossing my beautiful head of hair, giggling madly at something my best friend Eira had said.’
      • ‘Ivy stood up with her curvy hour glass figure and tossed her long blonde hair.’
      • ‘He nodded sharply, inadvertently tossing hair into his face.’
      • ‘Surprised, the dragons sprang backwards, snorting and tossing their heads.’
      • ‘The dragon stood slightly, tossing its head upwards as though craving to take off into the sky.’
      • ‘The black horses tossed their heads and whinnied loudly, stamping the ground and flicking their tails restlessly.’
      • ‘She was just exiting the bathroom as she tossed her hair backwards.’
      • ‘Nicole voiced in confusion, her newly blonde-streaked brown hair swishing as she tossed her head up to look at us.’
      • ‘I moved my mare into a canter, and the second horse tossed its head and whinnied in irritation at the feel of Gyric's weight against its neck.’
      • ‘She tosses her head to flip her hair out of her eyes.’
      throw back, jerk, jolt
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    2. 2.2 Shake or turn (food) in a liquid, so as to coat it lightly.
      ‘toss the pasta in the sauce’
      • ‘Tip the mussels and their juices into the frying pan, tossing well to coat.’
      • ‘The traditional way is to lift out the meat and set it aside, while the sauce is tossed with pasta and served topped with grated Parmesan.’
      • ‘Add the pasta, tossing lightly to combine well to coat, along with a few spoonfuls of the pasta water if dry.’
      • ‘Add in the buckwheat, the vegetables and the pain d' épice, and toss lightly to coat, making sure the ingredients are nicely blended.’
      • ‘Tony was first, taking the order from the cashier, getting the dough, tossing the pizza, and passing it to Antonia, Tony's sister.’
      • ‘Drain off any liquid, then toss with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and set aside.’
      • ‘Sit at the ceviche bar and watch the chefs toss tuna with white soy sauce, citrus, and cilantro, or shrimp with roasted tomatoes and avocado slices.’
      • ‘Shake skillet, tossing beans to coat with oil, garlic, and breadcrumbs.’
      • ‘Add the butter and cheese in three equal stages, tossing the pasta each time until it is evenly coated with the mixture.’
      • ‘Pour over cereal mix, toss lightly to coat evenly.’
      • ‘Drain octopus, place in a mixing bowl and pour over enough dressing until the octopus is just coated; toss lightly.’
      • ‘Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat.’
      • ‘Later, the girls all sat down for a rather light meal consisting of chicken, curry, tossed salad, and baked potatoes.’
      • ‘I just cook the sauce in a wide frying pan, toss the freshly cooked gnocchi into it and then serve it from the pan.’
      • ‘Drizzle dressing over chicken mixture, tossing to coat salad ingredients evenly.’
      • ‘Slowly sautéed pearl onions are tossed with walnuts, splashed with fig vinegar, and showered with snipped fresh savory.’
      • ‘Transfer to a large, lidded flame-proof casserole, and lightly toss the onions and carrots in the fat.’
      • ‘Try tossing kidney beans into salads, soups, stews or stir-fries.’
      • ‘There's usually macaroni salad, but you toss tuna in that and everyone is happy.’
      • ‘After tossing the gray uniform coat on the back of the open trunk, he lit a cigar.’
      shake, stir, turn, churn, mix, combine
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  • 3North American informal with object Search (a place)

    ‘I could demand her keys and toss her office’

noun

  • 1An action or instance of tossing something.

    ‘a defiant toss of her head’
    ‘the toss of a coin’
    • ‘Like coin tosses, there may be no salient causation to be discerned in the outcomes.’
    • ‘He was probably sitting upright in bed, his untidy brown hair, that I teased never had seen a hair brush before, in a horrifying mess, from all the tosses and turns he made in his sleep.’
    • ‘I love coin tosses and am thinking about starting a website dedicated solely to documenting each and every coin toss result from each and every sporting event in the history of the world.’
    • ‘He was not saying that the probability of getting just one head from ten coin tosses is the same as that of getting five heads.’
    • ‘The situation with share selection strategies and investment funds is more complicated than coin tosses because there are so many different factors at work.’
    • ‘Come on, this whodunit tale is quite engrossing with its frequent tosses, turns and twists.’
    • ‘The players in the group then establish a playing order - one through four in a foursome - by calling coin tosses, chipping toward a tee marker or any other simple method.’
    • ‘Such a graph reveals that for the spins and velocities typically encountered in coin tosses, tiny changes in initial conditions make the difference between heads and tails.’
    • ‘There'd be some coin tosses made, and probably even some arguments.’
    • ‘I quickly scooped him up and dropped him into his tank of pure spring water so he didn't dry out but I didn't see this lasting long unless he started to win the home-turf advantage coin tosses.’
    • ‘Consider a statistician, sitting down to construct a table for his new textbook, which will show a normal distribution of heads and tails over a series of one-hundred coin tosses.’
    • ‘He blocked errant pitches in the dirt, expertly framed borderline tosses, turning them into strikes and worked masterfully with pitchers.’
    • ‘And Telicia, a lefty, got two of her three tosses through a moving hoop in that event.’
    • ‘The reason is that H and T represent heads and tails in a sequence of coin tosses.’
    • ‘Consider a person who is betting on coin tosses and the prior outcomes were Heads, Tails, Tails, Heads, Heads, Heads.’
    • ‘The situation is analogous to trying to estimate the bias of two unfair coins from a series of tosses.’
    • ‘Participants were told either that they would be betting on two blocks of six coin tosses, or on two blocks of seven.’
    • ‘This sequence of coin tosses will not, however, trigger a design inference.’
    • ‘The palm of my hand brushed up against hers; causing a spark of emotions through my arm, paining my stomach with tosses and turns.’
    jerk, jolt, throw
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    1. 1.1the toss The action of tossing a coin as a method of deciding which team has the right to make a particular decision at the beginning of a game.
      ‘we'd win the toss and keep the ball’
      • ‘John won the toss of a coin to present the first program, but this soon gave way to a single compère a year later.’
      • ‘Cambridge won the toss and predictably chose Middlesex.’
      • ‘In the last 20 Tests at Bridgetown the team winning the toss has elected to bat only three times.’
      • ‘In the first game Kilkenny won the toss, served first and made an ace on the serve to lead one nil.’
      • ‘It goes without saying any team which wins the toss will choose to bat.’
      • ‘In six completed matches in the series also involving England, the team winning the toss have gone on to win each match with reasonable ease.’
      • ‘True, a people's referendum would need careful design to ensure people do not have to vote every week, and that they vote on meaningful questions, not blind tosses between bitter and acid.’
      • ‘Bulgaria won the quarter-final over Israel in Soccer at the 1968 Mexico Olympics in which the deciding factor was the toss of the coin.’
      • ‘After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Brothers were struggling at 3-24 when Matthews walked to the crease.’
      • ‘Her team won the toss, and picked the side they wanted to defend, while the Northern Appleton Wildcats got the kickoff.’
      • ‘Winning the toss isn't such a blessing here - in nine games, the team losing the toss has won on seven occasions, including the last five ODIs.’
      • ‘Stourbridge after winning the toss surprisingly chose to play against the wind, but proceeded to score twenty points.’
      • ‘Scotland had won the toss and chosen to play with the wind, which made the fact that they trailed 22-12 by half-time all the more ominous.’
      • ‘While we played five and lost five in that competition, I think that's a misleading stat because we lost all five tosses, which were crucial, yet were only 30 runs adrift in almost all of the games.’
      • ‘In three of them, the team winning the toss won the games.’
      • ‘They won the toss and chose bravely to bat first.’
      • ‘The away team won the toss and decided to play against the breeze in the first half.’
      • ‘Seven overs were lost in a late start because of rain and Preston's automatic decision on winning the toss to bat in less than ideal conditions was questionable.’
      • ‘Nalanda winning the toss made a wise decision to give first lease of the wicket to Ananda who were reeling at two wickets for four runs in the fifth over of the match.’
      • ‘I think the team that wins the coin toss wins the game about 75% of the time.’

Phrases

  • toss one's cookies

    • informal Vomit.

      • ‘And its better now that they hook me up so I can't go toss my cookies’ Jessie smirked, and Niki felt very uncomfortable.’
      • ‘Not only was he covered with goosebumps, he was trying not to toss his cookies.’
      • ‘People might want to see you drunk and having a good time but nobody wants to see you tossing your cookies into the potted plant in the corner.’
      • ‘When a number of us landlubbers became quite seasick, Victor decided it would be funny to capture the experience on film and began taking photos of his employees tossing their cookies overboard.’
      • ‘Right now I'm thinking of an effect in ‘On Sabbath Hill’ that may make you toss your cookies.’
      • ‘No, it was your favorite ‘Still Desperately Clinging to My Youth’ singer that made me want to toss my cookies.’
      • ‘She looked fine on the outside, but on the inside she was trying to keep from ‘tossing her cookies.’’
      • ‘A lot of guys come in here and toss their cookies.’
      • ‘Things probably went on in those kitchens that'd have one tossing his cookies in the back alley.’
      • ‘Usually when you hear a record by a new band that cops the style of someone from the past so blatantly, you're ready to toss your cookies.’
      • ‘He was a natural at teasing Cody and bouncing his little brother around up to the point where Kayla wondered if the little boy was going to toss his cookies all over Landon.’
      • ‘The girl, who had never tossed her cookies after seeing the corpses, even the first time, couldn't hold her liquor.’
      • ‘We spoke to the only other person who was close enough to observe, and not in the process of tossing his cookies, and he's ready to swear that no one else handed the hat to Pogey.’
      • ‘I also ate a vegetarian wrap in my room since eating near Brandy makes me want to toss my cookies.’
      • ‘Just try not to toss your cookies this time. - Go to the local hockey arena, find the pile of cleared ice out back deposited by the Zamboni and have a snowball fight in your bathing suits.’
      • ‘So we ended up going to this Chinese restaurant, and to cut a long story short, I wasn't even able to manage to take three mouthfuls before running to the ladies room and tossing my cookies.’
      • ‘Needless to say, I stopped the car, pulled over and tossed my cookies.’
      • ‘He's still bitter about Papa Shango making him toss his cookies.’
      • ‘A reporter for one of the eleven o'clock news remote teams tossed her cookies in the van before doing a stand-up, white-faced and shaky, beside the blood-stained chalk outline of the body.’
      • ‘Now, before all the high-mindedness makes us toss our cookies, we might consider how easy it is for the very rich to take such an apparently noble position on social responsibility.’
      be sick, spew, spew up, fetch up
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Phrasal Verbs

  • toss something off

    • 1Drink something rapidly or all at once.

      ‘Roger tossed off a full glass of Sauternes’
      • ‘The other was dawdling with the bottle, and Martin refused to wait for him, tossing the glass off in a gulp and refilling it.’
      drink, drink down, drink up, quaff, swallow, gulp, gulp down, drain, put away, guzzle, sup, sip, finish off
      View synonyms
    • 2Produce something rapidly or without thought or effort.

      ‘some of the best letters are tossed off in a burst of inspiration’
      • ‘He made a few comments, tossing them off casually, but they all struck home.’
      • ‘Clearly tossed off as a lark by a prolific author, the play's take on contemporary life as farce comes off as zany but obvious.’
      • ‘Students immediately started tossing ideas off the tops of their heads.’
      • ‘Instead he reveals a non-smoking, non-drinking grafter who pretended to toss off plays and movie scripts in an afternoon but actually spent night after night at home writing.’
      • ‘For Universal to toss it off like another second-hand series ripe for a digital dollar draw is spiteful, to both fans and the inquisitive alike.’
      • ‘How often I've thought this - even tossed it off in conversation.’
      • ‘How often do we just toss off, ‘Hey thanks, you look great too!’’
      • ‘Chelsea tosses the words off casually, fully expecting yet another shocked response to this announcement.’
      • ‘You seem to have tossed it off fairly lightly, Mr O'Sullivan.’
      • ‘Only thing that vaguely weirds me out is why you're writing this one to me instead of just tossing it off to your friends as a funny Sex and the City anecdote.’
      • ‘In the ubiquitous Rachmaninov Prelude in G-sharp he makes no attempt to compete with the fingerpower of Russian masters, but tosses the piece off with near casual panache.’
      • ‘I tried to warn her about it, but she tossed them off with an offhand comment about how she told her mother that she wasn't ready for marriage yet.’
      • ‘Instead, take a look at this little number I tossed off while waiting for a train…’
      • ‘Some level of effort went into making this album… it wasn't tossed off, but that's maybe more of a damnation than a praise.’
      • ‘Yet his plot devices are so slapdash, and key developments are tossed off so perfunctorily, that it seems the author didn't even have the time to write us a good bad book.’
      • ‘The songs - the best they have written since Some Girls in '78-sound as if they were tossed off, like rock 'n' roll is supposed to.’
      • ‘OK, I'll admit it, I posted this a couple of months ago as a quick something I tossed off one afternoon.’
      • ‘I find it kinda funny that when I feel at my worst and post, no one seems to say anything, but when I toss something off in a mini-haze combination of tired and mildly down, everyone's there.’
      • ‘Sam rushes about in a mad frenzy of excitement, tossing off ideas and phrases, blind to the practicalities of life.’
      • ‘Tactically, especially if you are going to do this in some way that she'll have to acknowledge that you've made the point (in other words, not ignore or toss off as a joke), I think you have to be prepared for some major blowback.’

Origin

Early 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation