token

When you give someone a flower or a friendship bracelet or something symbolic of the way you feel about them, you're giving them a token of your affection.

A token is not only something sentimental (like a keepsake) or symbolic (like your friendship bracelet). You, yourself, can also be a token: If you're the only female in your office, for instance, and you were hired just so there'd be at least one woman, then you're the "token female." Tokens can also be a kind of special currency, like the coins you use in slot machines. Before the Metro Card, New York City subway riders paid their fares with tokens.

Primary Meanings of token

1.
nadj
a metal or plastic disk that can be redeemed or used in designated slot machines
insignificantly small; a matter of form only (`tokenish' is informal)
2.
n
an individual instance of a type of symbol
Full Definitions of token
1

n a metal or plastic disk that can be redeemed or used in designated slot machines

Types:
subway token
a token that is used to pay for entry to the subway system
Type of:
disc, disk
a flat circular plate

n something serving as a sign of something else

Type of:
mark, sign
a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened)

n something of sentimental value

Synonyms:
keepsake, relic, souvenir
Types:
love-token
keepsake given as a token of love
favor, favour, party favor, party favour
souvenir consisting of a small gift given to a guest at a party
cracker, cracker bonbon, snapper
a party favor consisting of a paper roll (usually containing candy or a small favor) that pops when pulled at both ends
Type of:
object, physical object
a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow

adj insignificantly small; a matter of form only (`tokenish' is informal)

“a token gesture of resistance”
Synonyms:
nominal, tokenish
minimal, minimum
the least possible
2

n an individual instance of a type of symbol

“the word`error' contains three tokens of `r'”
Synonyms:
item
Types:
postage, postage stamp, stamp
a small adhesive token stuck on a letter or package to indicate that that postal fees have been paid
trading stamp
a token resembling a stamp given by a retailer to a buyer; the token is redeemable for articles on a special list
Type of:
symbol
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

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