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See also: Toy, toþ, tøy, -tøy, toý, and toʻy




From Middle English toye (amorous play, piece of fun or entertainment), probably from Middle Dutch toy, tuyg (tools, apparatus, utensil, ornament) as in Dutch speel-tuig (play-thing, toy), from Old Dutch *tiug, from Proto-Germanic *teugą (stuff, matter, device", literally "that which is drawn), from Proto-Germanic *teuhaną (to lead, bring, pull), from Proto-Indo-European *dewk- (to pull, lead). Cognate with German Spielzeug (toy), Danish legetøj (play-thing, toy). Related to tug, tow.


  • IPA(key): /tɔɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪ


toy (plural toys)

  1. Something to play with, especially as intended for use by a child. [from 16th c.]
    A grown man does not play with a child’s toy.
  2. A thing of little importance or value; a trifle. [from 16th c.]
    • Abr. Abbot
      They exchange for knives, glasses, and such toys, great abundance of gold and pearl.
  3. A simple, light piece of music, written especially for the virginal. [16th-17th c.]
  4. (obsolete) Love play, amorous dalliance; fondling. [16th-18th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.i:
      Then seemed him his Lady by him lay, / And to him playnd, how that false winged boy, / Her chast hart had subdewd, to learne Dame pleasures toy.
  5. (obsolete) A vague fancy, a ridiculous idea or notion; a whim. [16th-17th c.]
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970:
      , vol.1, III.i.2:
      Though they do talk with you, and seem to be otherwise employed, and to your thinking very intent and busy, still that toy runs in their mind, that fear, that suspicion, that abuse, that jealousy […].
    • Spenser
      To fly about playing their wanton toys.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      What if a toy take 'em in the heels now, and they all run away.
    • Drayton
      Nor light and idle toys my lines may vainly swell.
  6. (slang, derogatory) An inferior graffiti artist.
    • 2009, Gregory J. Snyder, Graffiti Lives: Beyond the Tag in New York's Urban Underground (page 40)
      It is incorrect to say that toys tag and masters piece; toys just do bad tags, bad throw-ups, and bad pieces.
    • 2011, Adam Melnyk, Visual Orgasm: The Early Years of Canadian Graffiti (page 45)
      I was a toy until I met Sear, who moved here from Toronto and showed me the book Subway Art.
  7. (obsolete) An old story; a silly tale.
    • Willian Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene I
      More strange than true: I never may believe these antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
  8. (Scotland, archaic) A headdress of linen or wool that hangs down over the shoulders, worn by old women of the lower classes; called also toy mutch.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      Having, moreover, put on her clean toy, rokelay, and scarlet plaid.


Derived termsEdit



toy (third-person singular simple present toys, present participle toying, simple past and past participle toyed)

  1. (intransitive) To play (with) in an idle or desultory way.
    to toy with a piece of food on one’s plate
    Figo is toying with the English defence.
  2. (intransitive) To ponder or consider.
    I have been toying with the idea of starting my own business.
  3. (slang, transitive) To stimulate with a sex toy.
    • 2013, Jonathan Everest, Lady Loverly's Chattel
      He could see her hand go to her slit, and soon she was toying herself along, breathing heavily.


See alsoEdit


Crimean TatarEdit



From Danish tøj, from Middle Low German tüg.


  • IPA(key): /tʰɔiː/, /tʰœiː/


toy n (genitive singular toys, uncountable)

  1. fabric


Declension of toy (singular only)
n3s singular
indefinite definite
nominative toy toyið
accusative toy toyið
dative toyi toyinum
genitive toys toysins

Middle FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit



  1. (in the singular, less formal) you


  • (plural or polite singular): vous

Related termsEdit



From Old Turkic.



  1. immature, naive