- any of various implements consisting of two arms hinged, pivoted, or otherwise fastened together, for seizing, holding, or lifting something (usually used with pair of).
Origin of tongs
- to lift, seize, gather, hold, or handle with tongs, as logs or oysters.
- to use, or work with, tongs.
Origin of tong1
- (in China) an association, society, or political party.
- (among Chinese living in the U.S.) a fraternal or secret society, often associated with criminal activities.
Origin of tong2
Examples from the Web for tongs
Cook until the underside is a deep golden brown, then flip the grispelle with tongs and brown the other side.Italy's Best Dessert Secret
December 9, 2010
Constance had set to work poking the fire logs with the tongs.Fruitfulness
If it were a Westralian or a Kaffir I would n't touch it with a pair of tongs!Joy (First Series Plays)
He even got up in revival meetin' and laid into it hammer and tongs.Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
Here is shown a pair of tongs that makes easy work of the job.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
While Pensioner was saying this, he took the tongs and picked a live coal from the fire.
- a tool for grasping or lifting, consisting of a hinged, sprung, or pivoted pair of arms or levers, joined at one endAlso called: pair of tongs
- to gather or seize with tongs
- to curl or style (hair) with curling tongs
- (formerly) a Chinese secret society or association, esp one popularly assumed to engage in criminal activities
Word Origin and History for tongs
Old English tange, tang "tongs," from Proto-Germanic *tango (cf. Old Saxon tanga, Old Norse töng, Swedish tång, Old Frisian tange, Middle Dutch tanghe, Dutch tang, Old High German zanga, German Zange), literally "that which bites," from PIE root *dank- "bite" (cf. Sanskrit dasati "biter;" Greek daknein "to bite," dax "biting"). For sense evolution, cf. French mordache "tongs," from mordre "to bite."
"Chinese secret society," 1883, from Cantonese t'ong "assembly hall."
Idioms and Phrases with tongs
see hammer and tongs.