A throw, a lob, of a ball etc., with an initial upward direction, particularly with a lack of care.
(cricket, football) The toss of a coin before a cricket match in order to decide who bats first, or before a football match in order to decide the direction of play.
(British, slang) A jot, in the phrase 'give a toss'.
- I couldn't give a toss about her.
* argue the toss
To throw with an initial upward direction.
To lift with a sudden or violent motion.
- Toss it over here!
- to toss the head
To agitate; to make restless.
- He tossed his arm aloft, and proudly told me, / He would not stay.
To subject to trials; to harass.
- Calm region once, / And full of peace, now tossed and turbulent.
To flip a coin, to decide a point of contention.
- Whom devils fly, thus is he tossed of men.
To discard: to toss out
- I'll toss you for it.
To stir or mix (a salad).
- ''I don't need it anymore, you can just toss it.
(British, vulgar, slang) To masturbate
(informal) To search (a room or a cell), sometimes leaving visible disorder, as for valuables or evidence of a crime.
- to toss''' a salad; a '''tossed salad.
* 2003 , Joseph Wambaugh, Fire Lover , p. 258:
- "Someone tossed just his living room and bedroom." / "They probably found what they were looking for."
* 2009 , , Red Dragon :
- John Orr had occasion to complain in writing to the senior supervisor that his Playboy and Penthouse magazines had been stolen by deputies. And he believed that was what prompted a random search of his cell for contraband. He was stripped, handcuffed, and forced to watch as they tossed his cell .
* 2011 , Linda Howard, Kill and Tell: A Novel :
- Rankin and Willingham, when they tossed his cell , they took Polaroids so they could get everything back in place.
To roll and tumble; to be in violent commotion.
- Hayes had watched him toss a room before. He had tapped walls, gotten down on his hands and knees and studied the floor, inspected books and lamps and bric-abrac.
To be tossed, as a fleet on the ocean.
- tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep
(obsolete) To keep in play; to tumble over.
- to spend four years in tossing the rules of grammar
To peak (the oars), to lift them from the rowlocks and hold them perpendicularly, the handle resting on the bottom of the boat.
* toss off
* toss in
* toss and turn
From (etyl) (m), partly from (etyl) . More at (m); see also (m).
(obsolete) Mass; church service.
A quantity of food set on a table at one time; provision of food for a person or party for one meal; also, the food given to an animal at one time.
- A mess of pottage.
A number of persons who eat together, and for whom food is prepared in common; especially, persons in the military or naval service who eat at the same table.
- At their savoury dinner set / Of herbs and other country messes .
* 1610 , , IV. iv. 11:
- the wardroom mess
A set of four (from the old practice of dividing companies into sets of four at dinner).
- But that our feasts / In every mess have folly, and the feeders / Digest it with accustom,
(US) The milk given by a cow at one milking.
* Eton mess
* lose the number of one's mess
* mess hall
* mess up
* Mills Mess
(label) To take meals with a mess.
(label) To belong to a mess.
(label) To eat (with others).
(label) To supply with a mess.
Perhaps a corruption of (etyl) , compare (muss), or derived from Etymology 1 "mixed foods, as for animals".
A disagreeable mixture or confusion of things; hence, a situation resulting from blundering or from misunderstanding; a disorder.
(label) A large quantity or number.
* see also
(label) To make a mess of.
(label) To throw into confusion.
(label) To interfere.
(terms derived from "mess")
* mess around
* mess up
* mess with