Definition of toy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tɔɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tɔɪ//
    Departments in stores
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  1. 1  an object for children to play with cuddly/soft toys The children were playing happily with their toys. see also plush toy See related entries: Departments in stores
  2. 2an object that you have for enjoyment or pleasure rather than for a serious purpose synonym plaything executive toys His latest toy is the electric drill he bought last week.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: of unknown origin. The word originally denoted a funny story or remark, later an antic or trick, or a frivolous entertainment. The verb dates from the early 16th cent. Culturetoys and gamesMost young children are given toys for their birthday or at Christmas. Many regularly spend their pocket money or allowance on smaller toys. Popular toys include building bricks such as Lego, plastic farm animals, toy cars, model railways and dressing-up costumes. Girls especially have dolls, and several sets of clothes to dress them in. Action Man figures are mainly for boys and Barbie dolls for girls. Babies are given rattles (= toys that make a noise when shaken), soft cuddly toys and a teddy bear. Action figures, small plastic models of characters from television shows or films, are also popular. Some parents do not allow their children to have guns or other ‘violent’ toys because they do not want them to think it is fun to kill people.Among traditional games that are still popular are marbles, which is played with small, coloured glass balls, board games such as snakes and ladders and ludo, card games such as Happy Families, and word games such as hangman. Board and card games are played with family or friends, but children play alone with computer games or video games.Many children collect objects, such as shells, model animals, stamps or picture cards. In the US baseball cards, cards with a picture of a baseball player on them, are sold with bubblegum (= a sweet with which you can blow bubbles). In Britain picture cards are often given free in packets of breakfast cereal.Children play outside with skipping ropes, bicycles, skateboards and Rollerblades™. In playgrounds there are often swings, a slide, a see-saw and a climbing frame (AmE jungle gym) to climb on. Traditional games played outside include hopscotch, a game in which children hop over squares drawn on the ground to try to pick up a stone, and tag, in which one child chases the others until he or she catches one of them and then that child has to chase the rest.Toys are often expensive and, even if they can afford them, many parents are unwilling to spend a lot of money on something that they know their children will soon get bored with. Children want toys they see advertised on television or in comics, or toys that their friends already have. There are sometimes crazes for toys connected with characters from a film.Few people give up toys and games completely when they become adults. Many keep their old teddy bear for sentimental reasons. There are now also executive toys, made specially for adults to keep on their desks. Many people play card games like bridge and poker, and board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, backgammon and chess.Extra examples All kinds of toys can be borrowed from the toy library. Desktop publishing is probably the best executive toy ever invented. Forty-two-year-old James showed us his favourite boy toy: a train set. Freddie kept snatching toys from the other children. He loved buying cars and expensive toys. My husband’s abandoned me for his shiny new toy. My son has lost his favourite/​favorite toy. She has a 17-year-old toy boy. She introduced me to her handsome boy toy. Stop grabbing Debbie’s toys!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: toy