• synonyms


[thawng, thong]
See more synonyms for thong on Thesaurus.com
  1. a strip of material, especially of leather or hide, used to fasten or secure something.
  2. a strip of leather or hide used for whipping; whiplash.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Origin of thong

before 950; Middle English; Old English thwong; akin to Old Norse thvengr strap, thvinga to compel
Related formsthonged, adjective
Can be confusedthong tong tongue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for thong

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At one end there was a thong with a loop in it, and it smelled of tiger.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Kingozi dropped his glasses to the end of its thong with a cheer.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Pass me the thong of buckskin, Uncas, and let me take the length of this foot.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Then the end of the thong was given over to him by Grey Beaver.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • The thong was cut across, diagonally, almost as clean as though done by a knife.

    White Fang

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for thong


  1. a thin strip of leather or other material, such as one used for lashing things together
  2. a whip or whiplash, esp one made of leather
  3. US, Canadian, Australian and NZ the usual name for flip-flop (def. 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
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper