EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English token, taken, from Old English tācn (sign), from Proto-West Germanic *taikn, from Proto-Germanic *taikną, from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- (to show, instruct, teach) with Germanic *k rather than *h by Kluge's law.[1]

The verb is from Middle English toknen, from Old English tācnian. Cognate with German Zeichen.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtəʊkən/
  • (US) enPR: tōk′ən IPA(key): /ˈtoʊkən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊkən

NounEdit

token (plural tokens)

  1. Something serving as an expression of something else.
    Synonyms: sign, symbol
    According to the Bible, the rainbow is a token of God's covenant with Noah.
  2. A keepsake.
    Synonyms: memento, souvenir
    Please accept this bustier as a token of our time together.
  3. A piece of stamped metal or plastic, etc., used as a substitute for money; a voucher that can be exchanged for goods or services.
    Subway tokens are being replaced by magnetic cards.
    A book token is the easiest option for a Christmas gift.
  4. A small physical object, often designed to give the appearance of a common thing, used to represent a person or character in a board game or other situation.
    Everyone pick a token (hat, wheelbarrow, thimble, etc.) and place it on the Start square.
  5. A minor attempt for appearance's sake, or to minimally comply with a requirement.
    His apology was no more than a token.
    1. A member of a group of people that is included within a larger group to comply with a legal or social requirement.
      • 1968, Ave Maria, volume 108, page 17:
        New York Philharmonic has a token of one Negro. The Pittsburgh Symphony ranks high with three tokens. Cleveland has one, and other major symphony orchestras such as Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago still say, "Get back!"
      • 2005, Morris Fromkin, Peter G. Watson-Boone, editor, The Quest for Social Justice III, page 61:
        Five women were tokens on both counts. Comparing racial tokens to nontokens, tokens reported significantly less favorable interpersonal interactions with their White male colleagues.
      • 2013, Robert J. Durán, Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider's Journey, page 208:
        They were tokens, however: the majority of oppressed people will not experience these benefits. Tokens were used to pacify the masses and provide the mirage that racism was no longer a factor
      • 2013, Vicki Smith, Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia, page 485:
        Women and racial minorities (e.g., blacks, Hispanics, Asians) often are tokens in organizations or in organizational groups (e.g., departments, boards of directors, management).
  6. (obsolete, sometimes figuratively) Evidence, proof; a confirming detail; physical trace, mark, footprint.
  7. Support for a belief; grounds for an opinion.
    Synonyms: reason, reasoning
  8. An extraordinary event serving as evidence of supernatural power.
    Synonym: miracle
  9. An object or disclosure to attest or authenticate the bearer or an instruction.
    Synonym: password
  10. A seal guaranteeing the quality of an item.
  11. Something given or shown as a symbol or guarantee of authority or right; a sign of authenticity, of power, good faith.
    • ca. 1605, William Shakespeare, Measure fir Measure, Act IV, sc. 3:
      Say, by this token, I desire his company.
    • 1611, King James Version, Exodus 3:12:
      And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
  12. A tally.
  13. (philosophy) A particular thing to which a concept applies.
  14. (computing) An atomic piece of data, such as a word, for which a meaning may be inferred during parsing.
    Synonym: symbol
    Coordinate term: placeholder
    • 2004, Randall Hyde, Write Great Code: Understanding the Machine, page 68
      For each lexeme, the scanner creates a small data package known as a token and passes this data package on to the parser.
  15. (computing) A conceptual object that can be possessed by a computer, process, etc. in order to regulate a turn-taking system such as a token ring network.
  16. (computing) A meaningless placeholder used as a substitute for sensitive data.
  17. (grammar) A lexeme; a basic, grammatically indivisible unit of a language such as a keyword, operator or identifier.
  18. (corpus linguistics) A single example of a certain word in a text or corpus.
    • 2007, Khurshid Ahmad, "Artificial Ontologies and Real Thoughts: Populating the Semantic Web?", Roberto Basili, Maria Teresa Pazienza (eds.), AI*IA 2007: Artificial Intelligence and Human-Oriented Computing, Springer-Verlag, page 10.
      However, note the token ontology, ranked the 15th most frequent token in our ontology corpus, occurs 1940 times out of 336,311 tokens, but ontology only occurs 52 times in the BNC – the ratio of two relative frequencies is 10895.
    Antonym: type
  19. (medicine) A characteristic sign of a disease or of a bodily disorder, a symptom; a sign of a bodily condition, recovery, or health.
  20. (medicine, obsolete) A livid spot upon the body, indicating, or supposed to indicate, the approach of death.
  21. (printing) Ten and a half quires, or, commonly, 250 sheets, of paper printed on both sides; also, in some cases, the same number of sheets printed on one side, or half the number printed on both sides.
  22. (mining) A bit of leather having a peculiar mark designating a particular miner. Each hewer sends one of these with each corf or tub he has hewn.
    • 1864 August 6, "Miners and Their Grievances", The Spectator, vol. 37, No. 1884, page 902.
      But the coal-owner refuses to pay for a corf or tub simply on the ground that it contains too little weight, or that it contains “softs” instead of all “hards,”—a refusal technically known by its symbol as “hanging the motties," or by a bolder metaphor as “hanging the hutches,”—the “motties,” or tokens peculliar to the collier who sends up the corf. being hung up, if satisfactory, on the proper “motty-board peg,” if not so, on the “death-board peg;” and it is asserted that “at some collieries as many as 60 or 70 each day, worth to the collier from 6d. to 8. each, are taken from them in this manner.”
    • 1873, Richard Fynes, The Miners of Northumberland and Durham, page 110.
      But worse still was the practice of defrauding them of their earnings, for as their “tokens” were put on to the outside of the tubs it often happened that hundreds were taken off and thrown away; so that they often found, to their exceeding chagrin, when they came to bank, that after having put up with all the abuse and ill-treatment in the mine they had got little or nothing for working all day.
    • 1877, "Northern Industries", The Primitive Methodist Magazine, page 172.
      The “token” is simply a small piece of leather with a given number upon it, and as the colliers work in pairs--not at the same time, but in succession, the one man taking the “fore shift,” the other the “back shift,”—each pair has a specific number, and round the “token” cabin are ranged hooks also numbered to correspond with the tokens the colliers take down with them into the mine; every tub laden with coal that comes to bank has in it one of these “tokens,” and the business of token-keeper is to secure these and lodge them upon their corresponding hooks, so that at the end of each shift, or day of labour, the colliers knows how many tubs he has sent “to bank”.
  23. (mining) A thin bed of coal indicating the existence of a thicker seam at no great distance.
  24. (rail transport) A physical object used for exchange between drivers and signalmen on single track lines.
    • 2020 January 2, Graeme Pickering, “Fuelling the changes on Teesside rails”, in Rail, page 61:
      Although splitting a single-line section into two might seem a simple solution, Williams adds that creating another location where drivers have to get out of the cab and walk to a cabinet to exchange tokens before a train can proceed will further slow down the service: "There must be a better option in the 21st century than putting in an additional token machine."
  25. (weaving) In a loom, a colored signal to show the weaver which shuttle to use.
  26. (Church of Scotland) A piece of metal given beforehand to each person in the congregation who is permitted to partake of the Lord's Supper.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

AdjectiveEdit

token (comparative more token, superlative most token)

  1. Done as an indication or a pledge.
  2. Perfunctory or merely symbolic; done or existing for appearance's sake, or to minimally comply with a requirement.
    He made a token tap on the brake pedal at the stop sign.
    • 1927, Arthur Robert Burns, Money and Monetary Policy in Early Times, page 393
      If the as had been reduced to a token in 240 BC, it was now a little more token than before.
    • 2000, Cheris Kramarae, Dale Spender, Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women, Page 176
      There are still many churches where the participation of women is token.
  3. (of people) Included in minimal numbers in order to create an impression or illusion of diversity, especially ethnic or gender diversity.
    • 1958, Social Problems - Volume 6, page 158:
      However, it should be noted that wherever ministers are opposed to mixed churches, the racial admixture is token.
    • 1993, United States. Federal Communications Commission, FCC Record, page 7560:
      It disputed the NAACP's argument that its minority employment was token, noting that it employed minorities in six years of its seven-year term and hired Blacks as station manager and news director among its five minority hires for full-time positions.
    • 1995, Christine N. Qunta, Who's Afraid of Affirmative Action, page 54:
      Even appointees who knew their positions were token would coolly take from the situation whatever benefits they could get.
    • 1996, William G. Tierney, ‎Estela Mara Bensimon, Promotion and Tenure: Community and Socialization in Academe, page 96:
      Having been in a university environment that was incredibly hostile to women, coming here seems like heaven. There are a lot of women senior faculty. In the university, there was only one in the department, and she was very token.
    • 2000, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling - Volume 31, page 51:
      In the rehabilitation (or any other) work-settings, minority counselors in double token status (e.g., female, black ) or triple token status ( female, black, with a disability) may experience more intense token effects of have mixed outcomes.
    • 2014, Christopher F. Karpowitz, ‎Tali Mendelberg, The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation, and Institutions, page 117:
      This perspective thus implies a corollary that addresses the most highly imbalanced gender compositions and that we label as token. [] Therefore, "token" women's participation and authority will be lower than "token" men's.
    He was hired as the company's token black person.
    The television show was primarily directed toward a black audience, but it did have a few token white people as performers.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

token (third-person singular simple present tokens, present participle tokening, simple past and past participle tokened)

  1. To betoken, indicate, portend, designate, denote
    • 1398, in Hans Kurath & Sherman M. Kuhn, eds., Middle English Dictionary, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press 1962, [[Special:BookSources/978-0-472-01044-8|→ISBN]], page 1242:
      dorrẹ̅, dōrī adj. & n. [] Golden or reddish-yellow [] (a. 1398) *Trev. Barth. 59b/a: ʒelouʒ colour [of urine] [] tokeneþ febleness of hete [] dorrey & citrine & liʒt red tokeneþ mene.
    • 1928, Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War, Penguin 2010, p. 149:
      The instinct revolted against the inevitable punishment to come, already tokened by those big holes now met in walls and crossings.
    • 2018, Fred Rush, “Wittgenstein and the Craft of Reading: On Reckoning with the Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Reading by Charles Altieri”, in Philosophy and Literature, volume 42, number 1, pages 236-37:
      Kant's theory of productive imagination, Schiller's aesthetics of Schein, and Hegel's loosening of the determinacy of concepts by means of the process-oriented dialectical model of rationality token a domain of experience in which single objects have significance that is at the same time superabundant and noncategorical.
  2. To betroth
  3. (philosophy) To symbolize, instantiate
    • 2008 August 27, Mikkel Gerken, “Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?”, in Erkenntnis, volume 69, number 2, DOI:10.1007/s10670-008-9116-z:
      In which sense does ‘∀p ~(p & ~p)’ cause the tokening of the belief in the subject?

Derived termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for token in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English token.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

token m or n (plural tokens, diminutive tokentje n)

  1. (computing) token, an atomic piece of data.

Usage notesEdit

There is no general agreement about the gender. In the south, people tend to use neuter, whereas in the north, masculine is preferred.

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English tācn, from Proto-Germanic *taikną (sign, token, symbol).

NounEdit

token (plural tokenes)

  1. token (a physical object representing an action, concept, etc.)
  2. omen, portent
  3. token (support for a belief)
  4. prearranged signal
  5. token (momento, keepsake)
  6. A flag, banner, standard associated with a person or event.
  7. model, example
  8. guarantee
  9. (astronomy) celestial body
  10. (astrology) astrological sign
Alternative formsEdit
DescendantsEdit
  • English: token
  • Scots: taiken

ReferencesEdit

Etymology 2Edit

NounEdit

token (uncountable)

  1. (before g-) Alternative form of tukinge

Etymology 3Edit

VerbEdit

token

  1. simple past plural of taken
Alternative formsEdit

VerbEdit

token

  1. Alternative form of taken: past participle of taken

SwedishEdit

NounEdit

token

  1. definite singular of tok

AnagramsEdit