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toy

toy, article designed to be played with, chiefly for children. Archaeological research has revealed numerous playthings from prehistoric civilizations. Early Egyptian, Greek, and Roman dolls, tops, balls, rattles, hoops, and miniature representations of furniture, houses, and dishes have been preserved. Mechanical toys, often created for the amusement of adults, have been popular since the Middle Ages. Toys made by individual artisans were early distributed in Germany; they were at first sold chiefly by peddlers at fairs. The use of sheet-metal stamping in Nuremberg c.1850 introduced the first large-scale manufacturing methods. The manufacture of toys is an important industry in most countries. Although many new toys are created each year, some, especially dolls, balls, art materials, and blocks, retain their popularity year after year. Educators and psychologists, beginning with Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel and Maria Montessori, have stressed the role of toys in the mental, emotional, social, and physical development of children.

See A. Fraser, A History of Toys (1966); G. White, Antique Toys and Their Background (1971).

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toy

toy / toi/ • n. 1. an object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something: [as adj.] a toy car. ∎  an object, esp. a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult: in 1914 the car was still a rich man's toy. ∎  a person treated by another as a source of pleasure or amusement rather than with due seriousness: a man needed a friend, an ally, not an idol or a toy. 2. [as adj.] denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog: a toy poodle. PHRASAL VERBS: toy with 1. consider (an idea, movement, or proposal) casually or indecisively. ∎  treat (someone) without due seriousness, esp. in a superficially amorous way. 2. move or handle (an object) absentmindedly or nervously. ∎  eat or drink in an unenthusiastic or restrained way. DERIVATIVES: toy·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.

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toy

toy
A. †amorous play XIV; †sportive or fantastic action, antic, trick XV;

B. trifling object; thing to play with XVI. of unkn. orig.

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toy

toyahoy, alloy, Amoy, annoy, boy, buoy, cloy, coy, destroy, employ, enjoy, Hanoi, hoi polloi, hoy, Illinois, joy, koi, oi, ploy, poi, Roy, savoy, soy, toy, trompe l'œil, troy

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