something serving to represent or indicate some fact, event, feeling, etc.; sign: Black is a token of mourning.
a characteristic indication or mark of something; evidence or proof: Malnutrition is a token of poverty.
a memento; souvenir; keepsake: The seashell was a token of their trip.
something used to indicate authenticity, authority, etc.; emblem; badge: Judicial robes are a token of office.
Also called token coin. a stamped piece of metal, issued as a limited medium of exchange, as for bus fares, at a nominal value much greater than its commodity value.
anything of only nominal value similarly used, as paper currency.
an item, idea, person, etc., representing a group; a part as representing the whole; sample; indication.
Logic, Linguistics. a particular instance of a word, symbol, expression, sentence, or the like: A printed page might have twenty tokens of the single type-word “and.” Compare type ( def 8 ).
verb (used with object)
to be a token of; signify; symbolize.
serving as a token: a token gift; a token male on an all-female staff.
slight; perfunctory; minimal: token resistance.
by the same token,
in proof of which.
moreover; furthermore: She has a talent as a painter, and by the same token has a sharp eye for detail.
in token of, as a sign of; in evidence of: a ring in token of his love.

before 900; Middle English; Old English tāc(e)n; cognate with German Zeichen, Old Norse teikn sign, mark. See teach

pretoken, noun, verb (used with object)

10. symbolic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
token (ˈtəʊkən)
1.  an indication, warning, or sign of something
2.  a symbol or visible representation of something
3.  something that indicates authority, proof, or authenticity
4.  a metal or plastic disc, such as a substitute for currency for use in slot machines
5.  a memento
6.  a gift voucher that can be used as payment for goods of a specified value
7.  (modifier) as a matter of form only; nominal: a token increase in salary
8.  linguistics Compare type a symbol regarded as an individual concrete mark, not as a class of identical symbols
9.  philosophy Compare type an individual instance: if the same sentence has different truth-values on different occasions of utterance the truth-value may be said to attach to the sentence-token
10.  by the same token moreover and for the same or a similar reason
11.  (tr) to act or serve as a warning or symbol of; betoken
[Old English tācen; related to Old Frisian tēken, Old Saxon tēkan, Old High German zeihhan, Old Norse teikn; see teach]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. tacen "sign, symbol, evidence" (related to tæcan "show, explain, teach"), from P.Gmc. *taiknan (cf. O.S. tekan, O.N. teikn "zodiac sign, omen, token," O.Fris., M.Du. teken, Du. teken, O.H.G. zeihhan, Ger. zeichen, Goth. taikn "sign, token"), from PIE base *deik- "to show" (see
teach). Meaning "coin-like piece of stamped metal" is first recorded 1598. The adj. meaning "nominal" is from 1915, from the noun. In integration sense, first recorded 1960; tokenism is first recorded 1962. Original sense of "evidence" is retained in by the same token (1463), originally "introducing a corroborating evidence."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

token definition

1. A basic, grammatically indivisible unit of a language such as a keyword, operator or identifier. Compare: lexeme.
2. (Or "pumpkin") An abstact concept passed between cooperating agents to ensure synchronised access to a shared resource. Such a token is never duplicated or destroyed (unless the resource is) and whoever has the token has exclusive access to the resource it controls. See for example token ring.
If several programmers are working on a program, one programmer will "have the token" at any time, meaning that only he can change the program whereas others can only read it. If someone else wants to modify it he must first obtain the token.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see by the same token; in token of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability.
Transit officials say it allows the agency to hire fewer token clerks at
  underused stations.
There was a type of token economy, which was different for each culture.
Not one even bothered to make a token public apology.
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