- an object, often a small representation of something familiar, as an animal or person, for children or others to play with; plaything.
- a thing or matter of little or no value or importance; a trifle.
- something that serves for or as if for diversion, rather than for serious practical use.
- a small article of little value but prized as a souvenir or for some other special reason; trinket; knickknack; bauble.
- something diminutive, especially in comparison with like objects.
- an animal of a breed or variety noted for smallness of size: The winning terrier at the dog show was a toy.
- a close-fitting cap of linen or wool, with flaps coming down to the shoulders, formerly worn by women in Scotland.
- a simple, light piece of music, especially of 16th or 17th century England, written for the virginal.
- amorous dallying.
- a playful or amusing act; diversion; pastime.
- made or designed for use as a toy: a toy gun.
- of or resembling a toy, especially diminutive in size.
verb (used without object)
- to amuse oneself; play.
- to act idly; or with indifference; trifle: to toy with one’s food.
- to dally amorously; flirt.
- an object designed to be played with
- something that is a nonfunctioning replica of something else, esp a miniature one
- (as modifier)a toy guitar
- any small thing of little value; trifle
- something small or miniature, esp a miniature variety of a breed of dog
- (as modifier)a toy poodle
- (intr usually foll by with) to play, fiddle, or flirt
c.1300, “amorous playing, sport,” later “piece of fun or entertainment” (c.1500), “thing of little value, trifle” (1520s), and “thing for a child to play with” (1580s). Of uncertain origin, and there may be more than one word here. Cf. Middle Dutch toy, Dutch tuig “tools, apparatus, stuff, trash,” in speeltuig “play-toy, plaything;” German Zeug “stuff, matter, tools,” Spielzeug “plaything, toy;” Danish tøi, Swedish tyg “stuff, gear.”
1520s, from toy (n.).
If he be merie and toy with any,
His wife will frowne, and words geve manye.
[“Song of the Bachelor’s Life,” 16c.]
Related: Toyed; toying.