[thawng, thong]


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 formsthonged, adjective
Can be confusedthong tong tongue Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for thong

sandal, lace, strap, band, leash, strip, lash, rein, twitch, whip

Examples from the Web for thong

Contemporary Examples of thong

Historical Examples of thong

  • 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



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, 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

Word Origin for thong

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper