token Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “token” in the English Dictionary

"token" in British English

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tokennoun [C]

uk   /ˈtəʊ.kən/  us   /ˈtoʊ-/
  • token noun [C] (SYMBOL)

C1 something that you do, or a thing that you give someone, that ​expressesyourfeelings or ​intentions, ​although it might have little ​practicaleffect: As a token ofourgratitude for all that you have done, we would like you to ​accept this ​smallgift. It doesn't have to be a ​bigpresent - it's just a token.
  • token noun [C] (PAPER WORTH MONEY)

UK (US gift certificate) a ​piece of ​paper with a ​particularamount of ​moneyprinted on it that can be ​exchanged in a ​shop for ​goods of that ​value: a £20 book/​gift/​record token
  • token noun [C] (DISC)

C1 a round ​metal or ​plasticdisc that is used ​instead of ​money in some ​machines

tokenadjective [before noun]

uk   /ˈtəʊ.kən/  us   /ˈtoʊ-/
Token ​actions are done to show that you are doing something, ​even if the ​results are ​limited in ​theireffect: The ​troops in ​front of us either ​surrendered or ​offered only token (= not much)resistance. They were the only ​country to ​argue for ​even token ​recognition of the Baltic ​states' ​independence. disapproving used to refer to something that is done to ​prevent other ​peoplecomplaining, ​although it is not ​sincerelymeant and has no ​realeffect: The ​truth is that they ​appoint no more than a token ​number of women to ​managerialjobs.
(Definition of token from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"token" in American English

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tokennoun [C]

 us   /ˈtoʊ·kən/
  • token noun [C] (SYMBOL)

something you give to someone or do for someone to ​expressyourfeelings or ​intentions: It isn’t a ​bigpresent – it’s just a token of ​thanks for ​yourhelp.
  • token noun [C] (DISK)

a round, ​metal or ​plasticdisk which is used ​instead of ​money in some ​machines: subway tokens

tokenadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈtoʊ·kən/
small or ​limited but having a ​symbolicimportance: a token ​fee a token ​gesture of ​goodwill
(Definition of token from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"token" in Business English

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tokennoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈtəʊkən/
MONEY a round ​piece of metal or ​plastic that is used instead of ​money in some ​machines, for ​example, to get ​food or drink out of a vendingmachine, use a ​carpark, etc: You'll need some tokens for the coffee ​machine.
MARKETING a ​piece of ​paper that is given when you ​buy a particular ​product, which can be ​exchanged for something when you have ​collected enough of them: There is a ​promotion on the cereal ​boxoffering a ​free toy for every 10 tokens you ​collect.
formal an ​action that you take or a thing that you give that is a ​symbol of your ​feelings about something, ​even though it may not be very ​big or ​valuable: a token of sth Please ​accept this ​gift as a token of our gratitude.

tokenadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ˈtəʊkən/
disapproving done or existing only to show that you are ​followingrules or doing what is expected, ​even though the ​results are ​limited: The ​wording of the ​advertisement was merely a token gesture towards ​equalopportunities. She was ​appointed as the token woman on the ​board
used to describe a ​payment that is very ​small: a token ​sum/​payment There is a token ​charge for ​membership of the ​staffclub.
(Definition of token from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“token” in Business English

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