Word of the Day: toss

Word of the Day
April 5, 2016
toss (verb, noun)
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Sometimes, the only way to decide is to toss a coin!
Toss means 'to throw something carelessly and casually' or 'to throw something to someone,' as in a game. It also means 'to move irregularly from side to side' or 'to move your head suddenly.' When you toss a coin, you throw it in the air and decide something depending on which side coin lands on. It also means 'to mix food lightly' and is especially used with salads. As a noun, a toss is the act of throwing or a sudden movement of the head.


Example sentences
Rachel took her jacket off and tossed it over the back of a chair.
James tossed the ball to Esther.
The boat tossed on the stormy sea.
The horse tossed its head impatiently.
I want to go to the movies but you want to visit that new museum; should we toss a coin?
The chef added the dressing to the salad and tossed it.
A powerful toss sent the ball shooting to the other end of the pitch.
With a toss of her head, Jane turned around and marched out of the room.


Multi-word forms
toss-up: when two possibilities seem equally likely. Example: "These two candidates are both popular; it's a toss-up which one of them will win."
argue the toss (UK): dispute something. Example: "I tried to give the new employee some feedback about her work, but she just wanted to argue the toss, rather than accepting it!"
toss something off: do something quickly, without much care. Example: "I only had five minutes, so I quickly tossed an email off to the boss about the proposed changes."
Did you know?
In UK English the slang expression "not give a toss," meaning 'not to care at all,' is quite common. Somebody, might say, for example "I don't give a toss what anyone thinks; I'm still going to do it!" Most people would consider this term fairly mild. However, it's origins are actually quite vulgar, so it is best avoided unless you are sure the person you are speaking to will not be offended!
Other forms
tosser (noun), tossing (adjective), tossingly (adverb)
Toss dates back to the late 16th or early 17th century; its origins are uncertain.
Toss in other languages
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