1The male of various animals, especially a domestic cat.‘While hens usually travel together, toms roam either in separate flocks or alone.’
- ‘The kittens would follow the tom around and when we trapped the last one of them he cried at our door for two days.’
- ‘I donate financially, and have purchased two rescued cats (one adult tom, and one kitten) from you.’
- ‘Some male wildcats mate with domestic females, but the half-breeds rarely survive either because the wild tom returns to kill the kittens as soon as they are born, or householders distrusting their untameable reputation do the same.’
- ‘If the problem is hormone related then neutering is usually an effective solution, especially with troublesome toms!’
- ‘And spaying for females is the same: they remove the whole plumbing system to keep the animal from going into heat and attracting toms and annoying its owner.’
- ‘Susie took up with a local tom and had a litter of two, a male and a female.’
- ‘The resulting difference in size between males, or toms, and females, or hens, requires producers to rely solely on artificial insemination for reproduction.’
- ‘There are tabbies and toms in white, black, grey and ginger.’
- ‘You will find that the tom will stop spraying his smelly urine to mark his territory.’
- ‘The tom met with an unfortunate accident - sadly after I chased him out of the house he bolted in front of a car.’
- ‘The hens would be in the low teens, 16 or 17 pounds, and the toms would dress out at 28 pounds.’
- ‘The four-year-old ginger tom moved to the town with owner Sara in January.’
- ‘In the same week a ginger tom called Bat was accused of attacking postmen in Kent.’
- ‘Fritz is a ginger tom of nine and a half months.’
- ‘While the tabby slumped down to mew her pain the tom rampaged among the females and the other nestlings, tearing throats, breaking knees and elbows, and tossing the smaller ones against the closet wall.’
2British informal A female prostitute.sex worker, call girl, courtesan
3TomUS informal, derogatory A black man considered to be excessively obedient or servile to white people.
verbtoms, tomming, tommed[no object]
1be tommingBritish informal Work as a prostitute.
- ‘Roscoe is tomming around now’
- ‘I took off my headphones and listened as he asked, ‘Are you tomming tonight?’’
2US informal, derogatory (of a black person) behave in an excessively obedient or servile way.
- ‘it was insulting to hold out my hand and have a clerk bang the money down—I'd tommed again’
Late Middle English (denoting an ordinary man, surviving in tomfool, tomboy, and the phrase Tom, Dick, and Harry): abbreviation of the given name Thomas. tom (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 18th century.
nouninformal usually toms
- ‘Liquidise ripe toms with red onion, cucumber, red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, sherry or balsamic vinegar and chill to let the flavours develop.’
- ‘A topping of onion marmalade, reasonable toms and fresh, herby ricotta couldn't rescue it.’