Definition of toy in US English:

toy

noun

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

    as modifier ‘a toy car’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘And besides - have you ever tried making a 40 foot high replica of a stuffed toy out of pots of flowers?’
    • ‘Dozens of floral tributes, dolls and cuddly toys were placed on metal railings near the scene of the tragedy.’
    • ‘As summer arrived, so did the big wooden crates bringing wonderful dolls, mechanical toys, pedal cars, tricycles, scooters, dolls' prams.’
    • ‘The result is a digital rendering of each concept, and a full-size sculpted model of the toy in foam.’
    • ‘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 shop stocks a selection of second-hand books, bric-a-brac, models, toys, games and a selection of official Yorkshire Air Ambulance souvenirs.’
    • ‘The black plastic bin liner contained teddy bears and other cuddly toys, Rosie and Jim dolls and a number of framed children's pictures.’
    • ‘Her favourite dolls, cuddly toys and teddy bears are lined along her shelves and bed.’
    • ‘Using toys as scale models of their world, children taste, examine and set up their visions of larger worlds.’
    • ‘Does anybody else involve cuddly toys and dolls in their conversations?’
    • ‘If the toddler ignored the miniature toys for more than three or four minutes, however, we would draw attention to them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Miniature toy cars can drive with wet, painted tires over unusual papers.’
    • ‘The toy is modelled on the pint-sized singer, even down to her famous bottom.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everything bar the kitchen sink has to go… from cuddly toys to the cars standing on their driveway.’
    plaything, game
    model, miniature, imitation, make-believe, fake, simulation, artificial
    View synonyms
    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’
      • ‘The atmosphere is upbeat, and there's all kinds of nifty geek toys and gadgets to be found down every aisle.’
      • ‘They test quirky gadgets and toys for grown ups in between answering calls from their satisfied pundits.’
      • ‘But now that they've got that little one that everyone carries around, that's a bit of an adult toy, too.’
      • ‘Slot machines are, in many respects, the toy adults never had before.’
      • ‘Most RVs have room to store adult toys, too, such as canoes, golf clubs, bicycles, and fishing gear.’
      • ‘And big adult toys, like bikes and computers need plenty of new space.’
      • ‘If you look at most Asian customers, many also tend to be much more experimental with toys and gadgets.’
      • ‘If nothing else, it will lead you deep into the jungle of new toys for your Linux machine.’
      • ‘The shop has been operating for more than three months, selling lingerie, adult toys and adult magazines, none of which requires a licence.’
      • ‘For years, people have joked that gadgets are basically just toys for grown ups.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now that I have more gadgets and toys, I am more frustrated when there is no electricity to run them.’
      • ‘Nowadays, we have all sorts of electronic toys and gadgets, which give us assistance, but when you switch them off, that's the result!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Or take the perceived realities we create around us - the high-flying jobs, the gadgets and toys, the houses built to impress.’
      • ‘Though my family is first in line, right up there in third place is gadgets, those geeky toys we all love to mess with.’
      • ‘Many homes are now full of expensive gadgets and toys.’
      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’
    • ‘He stood at a podium, and beside him was a woman with a little toy poodle as carefully groomed as she was.’
    • ‘So, after eating in the kitchen, I let my small toy poodle dog into the house, from the garage.’
    • ‘One can only hope they are of the toy variety, otherwise her family's apartment must get pretty crowded.’
    • ‘Just this past month Fifi, her fluffy white toy poodle passed away and the void is painful.’
    • ‘Some toy breeds can adapt happily to apartment life because their exercise requirements are modest.’
    • ‘Unlike the show held in April, there were not many fancy and toy breeds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My ex-girlfriend had an apricot toy poodle and it was the best damned dog I've ever met.’
    • ‘The latest sad news is that their tiny toy poodle has disappeared.’
    • ‘Now after all that fuss, I don't think she should have picked up her two toy poodles to sit on her lap.’
    • ‘They had dogs of their own - a mastiff the size of a Humvee, and a tiny comma of a toy poodle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you have a white toy poodle, you would want to place her on, or in front of, a black, blue or brown backdrop.’
    • ‘In England the cavalier, once thought to be on the verge of extinction, is the most popular toy breed.’
    • ‘Inform your honey that you've had it with the hysteria and the shrieking, so her toy poodle has to go.’
    • ‘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.’
    miniature, small, tiny, fun-size, diminutive, dwarf, midget, pygmy
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verb

[no object]
  • 1Move or handle (an object) absentmindedly or nervously.

    • ‘Peter wasn't fooled; the officer toyed absently with a pencil and it snapped like a toothpick between his meaty fingers.’
    • ‘Then he stops short and mulls it over, fingers toying absently with the spoon in his teacup.’
    • ‘Her long, slender fingers toyed nervously with the two rings she had on her right hand.’
    • ‘She thought it over as she toyed absently with a lock of hair behind one ear.’
    • ‘A final thought made him drop the chair back onto four legs, stand up and toy nervously with the inkwell.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘As Keira toyed absently with her fork on her empty plate, she asked Leah, ‘Talia's not coming with us, is she?’’
    • ‘Her fingers toyed absently with the handle of the mug of ale before her.’
    • ‘Damien picked up a photograph from the mantelpiece, toying idly with it.’
    • ‘I start to toy around with the edge of his blanket.’
    • ‘He was toying absently with a leaf that he had picked up, which made me wonder about what he was thinking.’
    1. 1.1 Eat or drink in an unenthusiastic or restrained way.
      • ‘She was toying with the drink Susan had supplied, and she was quite upset.’
      • ‘I also believed it because he liked to eat, and I liked to cook, and he frequently came to dinner and ate a lot, but the last few times he just sort toyed with the food.’
  • 2Consider (an idea, movement, or proposal) casually or indecisively.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I toyed around with the idea of waiting for awhile, until I could take a break from what I was working on.’
    • ‘She had also toyed with the idea of being a chicken farmer but considered the risks too high.’
    • ‘Biting my lip, I slid my arm in his and toyed around with calling her on it.’
    • ‘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 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 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.’
    • ‘Goaded by leftist privacy advocates, Congress has been toying with the idea of regulating the private sector in the name of privacy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So you'd been toying with the idea for a while?’
    • ‘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!’’
    • ‘She toyed briefly with the idea of torturing him for a little longer but decided that was just too cruel.’
    • ‘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've been toying seriously with the idea of following him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The airline industry has been toying with the idea of merging religion with air flight for quite a while now.’
    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) without due seriousness, especially in a superficially amorous way.
      • ‘What if he just wanted her to toy around with her for a while?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She just wanted to toy around a little with Adam but he obviously took it seriously.’
      • ‘They toyed with me over the phone stuff a few weeks ago.’
      • ‘Life is good, but seriously Bill, you're way too easy to toy with.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a pretty girl from a respectable family, she toys with her beaux - little boys who must play the love game by her rules.’
      • ‘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.’
      flirt with, dally with, sport with, play with, amuse oneself with, trifle with, fool with
      View synonyms

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

toy

/toi//tɔɪ/