tong

1
[tawng, tong]
verb (used with object)
  1. to lift, seize, gather, hold, or handle with tongs, as logs or oysters.
verb (used without object)
  1. to use, or work with, tongs.

Origin of tong

1
before 900; 1865–70, for def 2; Middle English tong(e) (singular), tongen, tonges (plural), Old English; cognate with Dutch tang, German Zange pair of tongs or pincers; akin to Greek dáknein to bite
Related formstong·er, noun
Can be confusedthong tong tongue

tong

2
[tawng, tong]
noun
  1. (in China) an association, society, or political party.
  2. (among Chinese living in the U.S.) a fraternal or secret society, often associated with criminal activities.

Origin of tong

2
1880–85, Americanism; < dialectal Chinese (Guangdong) tòhng, akin to Chinese táng meeting hall
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tong

Contemporary Examples of tong

  • Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Senator Mitch McConnell of Wherever are going at it hammer and tong.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Let the Democrats Win

    Christopher Buckley

    April 14, 2010

Historical Examples of tong


British Dictionary definitions for tong

tong

1
verb (tr)
  1. to gather or seize with tongs
  2. to curl or style (hair) with curling tongs

tong

2
noun
  1. (formerly) a Chinese secret society or association, esp one popularly assumed to engage in criminal activities

Word Origin for tong

C20: from Chinese (Cantonese) t'ong meeting place
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 tong

Tong

"Chinese secret society," 1883, from Cantonese t'ong "assembly hall."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tong

tong

see hammer and tongs.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.