tongue

[ tuhng ]
/ tʌŋ /

noun

verb (used with object), tongued, tongu·ing.

verb (used without object), tongued, tongu·ing.

Idioms

Origin of tongue

before 900; (noun) Middle English tunge, Old English; cognate with Dutch tong, German Zunge, Old Norse tunga, Gothic tuggo; akin to Latin lingua (OL dingua); (v.) Middle English tungen to scold, derivative of the noun

Related forms

tongue·less, adjectivetongue·like, adjectiveout·tongue, verb (used with object), out·tongued, out·tongu·ing.un·tongued, adjective

Can be confused

thong tong tongue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hold one's tongue

tongue

/ (tʌŋ) /

noun

verb tongues, tonguing or tongued

Derived Forms

tongueless, adjectivetonguelike, adjective

Word Origin for tongue

Old English tunge; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse tunga, Old High German zunga, Latin lingua
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

Medicine definitions for hold one's tongue

tongue

[ tŭng ]

n.

A mobile mass of muscular tissue that is covered with mucous membrane, occupies much of the cavity of the mouth, forms part of its floor, bears the organ of taste, and assists in chewing, swallowing, and speech.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for hold one's tongue

tongue

[ tŭng ]

A muscular organ in most vertebrates that is usually attached to the bottom of the mouth. In snakes, the tongue is used as a sense organ. In frogs, the tongue is chiefly used to capture prey. In mammals, the tongue is the main organ of taste and is an important organ of digestion. In humans, the tongue is used to produce speech.
A similar organ in certain invertebrate animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with hold one's tongue (1 of 2)

hold one's tongue


Also, hold or keep one's peace. Keep quiet, remain silent, as in If you don't hold your tongue you'll have to go outside, or Jenny kept her peace about the wedding. The idiom with tongue uses hold in the sense of “restrain,” while the others use hold and keep in the sense of “preserve.” Chaucer used the first idiom in The Tale of Melibus (c. 1387): “Thee is better hold thy tongue still, than for to speak.” The variant appears in the traditional wedding service, telling anyone who knows that a marriage should not take place to “speak now or forever hold your peace.” [First half of 1300s] Also see keep quiet.

Idioms and Phrases with hold one's tongue (2 of 2)

tongue


In addition to the idioms beginning with tongue

  • tongue hangs out, one's
  • tongue in cheek, with
  • tongues wag

also see:

  • bite one's tongue
  • cat got someone's tongue
  • hold one's tongue
  • keep a civil tongue
  • on the tip of one's tongue
  • slip of the lip (tongue)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.