from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The fleshy, movable, muscular organ, attached in most vertebrates to the floor of the mouth, that is the principal organ of taste, an aid in chewing and swallowing, and, in humans, an important organ of speech.
  • noun An analogous organ or part in invertebrate animals, as in certain insects or mollusks.
  • noun The tongue of an animal, such as a cow, used as food.
  • noun A spoken language or dialect.
  • noun Speech; talk.
  • noun The act or power of speaking.
  • noun Speech or vocal sounds produced in a state of religious ecstasy.
  • noun Style or quality of utterance.
  • noun The bark or baying of a hunting dog that sees game.
  • noun Something resembling a tongue in shape or function, as.
  • noun The vibrating end of a reed in a wind instrument.
  • noun A flame.
  • noun The flap of material under the laces or buckles of a shoe.
  • noun A spit of land; a promontory.
  • noun A bell clapper.
  • noun The harnessing pole attached to the front axle of a horse-drawn vehicle.
  • noun A protruding strip along the edge of a board that fits into a matching groove on the edge of another board.
  • intransitive verb Music To separate or articulate (notes played on a brass or wind instrument) by shutting off the stream of air with the tongue.
  • intransitive verb To touch or lick with the tongue.
  • intransitive verb To give (someone) a French-kiss.
  • intransitive verb To provide (a board) with a tongue.
  • intransitive verb To join by means of a tongue and groove.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To scold.
  • intransitive verb Music To articulate notes on a brass or wind instrument.
  • intransitive verb To project.
  • idiom (have/speak with) To speak deceitfully; prevaricate or lie.
  • idiom (bite/hold) To be or keep silent.
  • idiom (loosen (someone's) tongue) To cause (someone) to speak freely or carelessly or to divulge information.
  • idiom (lose (one's) tongue) To lose the capacity to speak, as from shock.
  • idiom (on the tip of (one's) tongue) On the verge of being recalled or expressed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To chide; scold; reproach.
  • To speak; utter.
  • In playing on musical wind-instruments, to modify or interrupt the tone of by means of a stroke of the tongue, so as to produce a marcato or staccato effect, as in the flute, the cornet, etc. See tonguing. Also tip.
  • To join or fit together by means of a tongue and groove. See the phrase.
  • To talk; prate: with indefinite it.
  • In music, to use the tongue for the purpose of modifying sounds in playing the flute and some other wind-instruments.
  • To run out; project: as, a point of land tongues out into the sea.
  • noun The principal organ of the special sense of taste or the gustatory faculty; the lingual apparatus, or lingua.
  • noun Specifically, in cookery, a beef's tongue prepared for the table: as, smoked tongue.
  • noun In conchology, the lingual ribbon, or odontophore, bearing the radula, or rasping surface. a structure highly characteristic of those mollusks which have heads, as gastropods. See the technical names (with cuts under radula and ribbon).
  • noun In entomology, some mouth-part or conformation of mouth-parts serving as a tongue or suggesting one; a proboscis; a haustellum; an antlia: as, the long spirally rolled tongue of a butterfly or moth; specifically, the central lobe of the ligula of a mandibulate insect. See the technical words, and cut under haustellum.
  • noun In various figurative uses, the faculty or mode of speech; speech.
  • noun The act or habit of speaking; utterance; discourse; sometimes, fluency of speech; talk.
  • noun The manner of speaking as regards sound; voice; tone; specifically, in sporting language, the voice of a hound or other dog: as, to give tongue.


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

[Middle English, from Old English tunge; see dn̥ghū- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tonge, tunge, tung, from Old English tunge, from Proto-Germanic *tungōn (“tongue”) (compare West Frisian tonge, Dutch tong, German Zunge, Danish tunge, Swedish tunga), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (compare Irish teanga, Latin lingua, Tocharian A/B känt/kantwo, Lithuanian liežùvis, Polish język 'language, tongue', Armenian լեզու (lezu), Sanskrit जिह्वा (jihvā́)).


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