Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seize, hold, or manipulate with tongs.
  • n. A Chinese association or political party.
  • n. An association or a secret society of Chinese in the United States, believed to be involved in organized crime.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instrument or tool used for manipulating things in a fire without touching them with the hands.
  • v. To use tongs.
  • v. To grab, manipulate or transport something using tongs.
  • n. A Chinese secret society or gang.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Tongue.
  • n. In China, an association, secret society, or organization of any kind; in the United States, usually, a secret association of Chinese such as that of the highbinders; in the U. S. the tongs have been frequently associated with criminal activity and gang warfare.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To seize, hold, or take with tongs.
  • To handle or use tongs; capture something, as oysters, with tongs.
  • n. One of a number of holding- and lifting-instruments of various forms.
  • n. [Tongs were formerly used in rough burlesque music:
  • n. In diamond-cutting, a two-footed wooden stand that has at one end a vise-like iron holder, into which the dop containing the diamond is fastened, holding the diamond against the wheel.
  • n. plural A device for anchoring the body of a car to the track when it is not in use.
  • n. plural Trousers.
  • n. An old spelling of tongue.

Etymologies

Back-formation from tongs.
Chinese (Cantonese) t'ōng, assembly hall, familial relationship between cousins, equivalent to Chinese (Mandarin) táng.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English tange, from a Germanic root. Cognate to Old Norse tǫng (modern Icelandic töng), Old High German zanga (modern German Zange). Other cognates include Sanskrit दशति (daśati, "to bite") and Albanian dang ("bite, nip"). (Wiktionary)
From Cantonese. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Shankar Ganesh thinks .. though my ma tong is tamil, i know a little bit of hindi and i think the hindi version of your name is correct!

    Your Name in 5 Different Scripts

  • Syempre after ten years eh naayos din tong computer namin ... acually matagal na ...

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Tinatamad nga lan kong magblog at gumawa ng layout kaya MERRY CHRISTMAS pa rin tong layout ko. .aahh ... wadeber ...

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • The village corporation is managed by what the Chinese refer to as a tong.

    In The Shadow of The Cypress

  • Jin Dan is the only way to reach fan lao huan tong, which is to transform old age to the health and purity of the baby state.

    Tao II

  • As financial secretary in 2007, he handed out income tax rebates and property-rate waivers, earning him the nickname of "tong tong," a term for sweets, from the local press.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • They were shrouded in secrecy and, in the old days, met only in private — "tong" means "chamber."

    The Stone Monkey

  • The day we spent in Ouray on our way down from the cabin here, we much distressed him by not "striking a show" in the street, and not wearing smart clothes which had a "tong," if it were only to show that we consider Mr. W---- a "big bug."

    A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba

  • There were bells on the cows, on the sheep and even the hogs, and the boys soon learned to distinguish ownerships by the delicate differences in the browsing "tong" in the tone of the bells.

    Sergeant York And His People

  • “Isn’t tong the Chinese word for an organized crime syndicate?”

    Last Lullaby

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