a coin toss
a coin toss
1. Literally, the act of throwing a coin into the air, with the outcome of something dependent on which side of the coin lands face-up. We figured the fairest way was to do a coin toss to see who should keep Dad's old stamp collection. All right, we'll do a coin toss. Heads, I get to ride up front—tails, you get to ride up front. OK, whoever wins this coin toss has to go out and get the groceries. Heads or tails?
2. By extension, a situation in which two outcomes, usually opposites, are equally likely and will be decided by chance. At this point, it's really just a coin toss whether we'll be able to recoup our costs from this project or not. A: "Come on, we all know it’s a coin toss that Mom and Aunt Megan will get into a fight at dinner." B: "I don't know, they've been getting along lately." Traditionally, Kevin's always running late, but he's been more punctual lately, so I guess it's a coin toss whether he shows up on time or not.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a coin tossAMERICAN
If you describe a something as a coin toss, you mean that there is an equal chance of either of two things happening. Will he play well or will he play badly? It's always a coin toss with him. It's a coin toss as to whether you're going to see a legal challenge.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012