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A toss-up is a situation that could go either way, a situation in which two different outcomes seem equally likely or equally desirable. A toss-up seems to have no clear criteria upon which to make a decision, one might as well flip a coin and let fate decide what the outcome should be. Toss-up comes into the English language in the very early 1800s, from the practice of tossing a coin in order to decide something that seems undecidable. Used as a noun or as an adjective, toss-up is usually hyphenated, but is sometimes rendered as toss up, unhyphenated.


After that, it was a toss-up as to what we’d do with the money – make sure loved ones are set for life, buy a motor home, travel around American, travel overseas, pursue a passion we don’t have time for now because we all work full time. (The Des Moines Register)

We’re not a toss-up state that hopefuls woo, except for raiding parties by candidates mining the Golden State for billionaire and multimillionaire gold. (The Santa Barbara Independent)

It was instructive to taste the freshly made cocktail next to one with some age on it — and it was a toss-up as to which was the better.  (The San Antonio Current)

A new Civitas poll shows the upcoming GOP primary is a virtual toss-up in North Carolina. (The High Country Press)

But there remain a handful of toss-up districts where the right Democrat can eke out a narrow win.  (The Los Angeles Times)

Rain for Super Bowl? At this point, it’s a toss up (The San Jose Mercury News)

The toss-up goes beyond deciding among equities, bonds, cash, or the best promotional gift from the bank. (The Straits Times)

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