1 verb
1 THROW (T) to throw something, especially something light, with a quick gentle movement of your hand: toss sth into/down/out of etc: Toss that book over here, will you? | toss sth to sb: “Catch!” said Sandra, tossing her bag to him. | toss sb sth: Frank tossed her the newspaper.
2 MOVE (I, T) to move and turn around continuously in a violent or uncontrolled way, or make something do this: toss sth about/around: Our small boat was tossed about like a cork. | toss and turn (=keep changing your position in bed because you cannot sleep): I've been tossing and turning all night.
3 THROW A FLAT OBJECT (T) BrE to throw a flat object upwards so that it turns over in the air before it falls again; flip 1 (2) AmE: tossing pancakes on Pancake Day
4 A COIN also toss up (I, T) especially BrE to make a coin go upwards and spin in the air, as a way of deciding something; flip 1 (2) AmE: They tossed a coin to decide who would go first. | toss (up) for it: Well we can't make up our minds; we'll just have to toss for it.
5 IN COOKING (T) to cover food in a liquid by shaking it around in the liquid: Toss the carrots in some butter before serving.
6 toss your head to move your head back suddenly, often with a shaking movement showing anger: He tossed his head angrily and left the room.
7 toss your cookies AmE spoken to vomit 1
toss off phrasal verb
1 (transitive toss something off) to produce something quickly and without much effort: one of those painters who can toss off a couple of pictures before breakfast
2 (transitive toss something off) old-fashioned to drink something quickly: He tossed off a few whiskies.
3 (intransitive, transitive toss someone off) BrE taboo to masturbate
2 noun (C)
1 the act of throwing a coin in the air to decide something: The toss of a coin decided who would serve first.
2 a sudden backwards movement of your head, so that your hair moves: “I'll see,” the nurse said, with an officious toss of her head.
3 win/lose the toss especially BrE to win or lose the right to make a choice at the beginning of a game or race, according to the result of tossing a coin
4 the act of gently throwing something: Will distracted me and I missed the toss.
5 not give a toss BrE spoken to not care about something at all: I really couldn't give a toss what Dermot thinks.
—see also: argue the toss argue (5)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


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