Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[thawng, thong] /θɔŋ, θɒŋ/
a strip of material, especially of leather or hide, used to fasten or secure something.
a strip of leather or hide used for whipping; whiplash.
a shoe or slipper fastened to the foot chiefly by a strip of leather or other material passing between the first and second toes and often attaching to another strip of material, as a strap across the instep or around the ankle.
a brief garment for the lower body that exposes the buttocks, consisting of a strip of fabric passing between the thighs and attached to a band around the waist.
Origin of thong
before 950; Middle English; Old English thwong; akin to Old Norse thvengr strap, thvinga to compel
Related forms
thonged, adjective
Can be confused
thong, tong, tongue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for thong
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I cut the thong that bound him, as I spoke, and set him free.

    The Big Otter R.M. Ballantyne
  • The thong lashed his wounds, and he fell back into the mud with a yell.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • He had removed his collar, tie, and flashy diamond pin, and was diligently wrapping the thong of a black-jack about his wrist.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • I took the mast, which had a thong of bull's-hide round it, and tied it to the keel.

  • With his knife he quickly severed the thong that bound one of them, and the dull, red gold gleamed back in the flickering light!

  • In an instant he felt a ring, as of a rope or thong, settle upon his shoulders.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
British Dictionary definitions for thong


a thin strip of leather or other material, such as one used for lashing things together
a whip or whiplash, esp one made of leather
(US & Canadian, Austral & NZ) the usual name for flip-flop (sense 5)
  1. a skimpy article of beachwear, worn by men or women, consisting of thin strips of leather or cloth attached to a piece of material that covers the genitals while leaving the buttocks bare
  2. a similar item of underwear
Word Origin
Old English thwang; related to Old High German dwang reins, Old Norse thvengr strap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for thong

Old English þwong "thong, narrow strip of leather (used as a cord, band, strip, etc.)," from Proto-Germanic *thwangaz (cf. Old Norse þvengr), from PIE root *twengh- "to press in on, to restrain." As a kind of sandal, first attested 1965; as a kind of bikini briefs, 1990.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for thong

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for thong

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for thong