Anatomy. the usually movable organ in the floor of the mouth in humans and most vertebrates, functioning in eating, in tasting, and, in humans, in speaking.
Zoology. an analogous organ in invertebrate animals.
the tongue of an animal, as an ox, beef, or sheep, used for food, often prepared by smoking or pickling.
the human tongue as the organ of speech: No tongue must ever tell the secret.
the faculty or power of speech: a sight no tongue can describe.
speech or talk, especially mere glib or empty talk.
manner or character of speech: a flattering tongue.
the language of a particular people, region, or nation: the Hebrew tongue.
(in the Bible) a people or nation distinguished by its language.
an object that resembles an animal's tongue in shape, position, or function.
a strip of leather or other material under the lacing or fastening of a shoe.
a piece of metal suspended inside a bell that strikes against the side producing a sound; clapper.
a vibrating reed or similar structure in a musical instrument, as in a clarinet, or in part of a musical instrument, as in an organ reed pipe.
the pole extending from a carriage or other vehicle between the animals drawing it.
a projecting strip along the center of the edge or end of a board, for fitting into a groove in another board.
a narrow strip of land extending into a body of water; cape.
a section of ice projecting outward from the submerged part of an iceberg.
Machinery. a long, narrow projection on a machine.
that part of a railroad switch that is shifted to direct the wheels of a locomotive or car to one or the other track of a railroad.
the pin of a buckle, brooch, etc.
to articulate (tones played on a clarinet, trumpet, etc.) by strokes of the tongue.
to cut a tongue on (a board).
to join or fit together by a tongue-and-groove joint.
to touch with the tongue.
to articulate or pronounce.
to reproach or scold.
to speak or utter.
to tongue tones played on a clarinet, trumpet, etc.
to talk, especially idly or foolishly; chatter; prate.
to project like a tongue.
Idioms about tongue
find one's tongue, to regain one's powers of speech; recover one's poise: She wanted to say something, but couldn't find her tongue.
Fox Hunting. (of a hound) to bay while following a scent.
to utter one's thoughts; speak: He wouldn't give tongue to his suspicions.
hold one's tongue, to refrain from or cease speaking; keep silent.
lose one's tongue, to lose the power of speech, especially temporarily.
on the tip of one's / the tongue,
on the verge of being uttered.
unable to be recalled; barely escaping one's memory: The answer was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't think of it.
slip of the tongue, a mistake in speaking, as an inadvertent remark.
(with) tongue in cheek, ironically or mockingly; insincerely.
- tongueless, adjective
- tonguelike, adjective
- outtongue, verb (used with object), out·tongued, out·tongu·ing.
- un·tongued, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tongue in a sentence
The budding naturalist soon learned to identify plants by feel, touching their hairs with his lower lip and their stamens and pistils with his tongue.
Students and workers with no symptoms might start swabbing their noses or tongues every few days to make sure they haven’t been exposed.
On a windy winter afternoon, Raluca Mateescu leaned against a fence post at the University of Florida’s Beef Teaching Unit while a Brahman heifer sniffed inquisitively at the air and reached out its tongue in search of unseen food.Biotechnology Could Change the Cattle Industry. Will It Succeed? | Dyllan Furness | August 16, 2020 | Singularity Hub
As you write, “Economics is the mother tongue of public policy.”
So she pumped the samples onto the tongue and allowed it to roll right off.
After the release of the trailer for the special last week, TLC received a requisite and perhaps well-deserved tongue-lashing.Your Husband Is Definitely Gay: TLC’s Painful Portrait of Mormonism | Samantha Allen | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Abramson, biting her tongue, was widely portrayed in rival outlets as classily above the fray.
The second is strangled tongue disease, the English inability to express real feelings in conversation.
Language was no barrier; just about every tongue on the planet was babbling away, caught up in the elaborate mystique of a cult.
Sata, who was known as King Cobra because of his sharp tongue, was thought to have been seriously ill for some time.
“Perhaps you do not speak my language,” she said in Urdu, the tongue most frequently heard in Upper India.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
Now first we shall want our pupil to understand, speak, read and write the mother tongue well.The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
The flute and the psaltery make a sweet melody, but a pleasant tongue is above them both.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
Each sentence came as if torn piecemeal from his unwilling tongue; short, jerky phrases, conceived in pain and delivered in agony.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
If she have a tongue that can cure, and likewise mitigate and shew mercy: her husband is not like other men.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
British Dictionary definitions for tongue
a movable mass of muscular tissue attached to the floor of the mouth in most vertebrates. It is the organ of taste and aids the mastication and swallowing of food. In man it plays an important part in the articulation of speech sounds: Related adjectives: glottic, lingual
an analogous organ in invertebrates
the tongue of certain animals used as food
a language, dialect, or idiom: the English tongue
the ability to speak: to lose one's tongue
a manner of speaking: a glib tongue
utterance or voice (esp in the phrase give tongue)
(plural) See gift of tongues
anything which resembles a tongue in shape or function: a tongue of flame; a tongue of the sea
a promontory or spit of land
a flap of leather on a shoe, either for decoration or under the laces or buckles to protect the instep
music the reed of an oboe or similar instrument
the clapper of a bell
the harnessing pole of a horse-drawn vehicle
a long and narrow projection on a machine or structural part that serves as a guide for assembly or as a securing device
a projecting strip along an edge of a board that is made to fit a corresponding groove in the edge of another board
hold one's tongue to keep quiet
on the tip of one's tongue about to come to mind: her name was on the tip of his tongue
with one's tongue in one's cheek or tongue in cheek with insincere or ironical intent
to articulate (notes played on a wind instrument) by the process of tonguing
(tr) to lick, feel, or touch with the tongue
(tr) carpentry to provide (a board) with a tongue
(intr) (of a piece of land) to project into a body of water
(tr) obsolete to reproach; scold
- tongueless, adjective
- tonguelike, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for tongue
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.
Other Idioms and Phrases with tongue
In addition to the idioms beginning with tongue
- tongue hangs out, one's
- tongue in cheek, with
- tongues wag
- 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.