verb (used with object), tongued, tongu·ing.
- to cut a tongue on (a board).
- to join or fit together by a tongue-and-groove joint.
- to reproach or scold.
- to speak or utter.
verb (used without object), tongued, tongu·ing.
- tongue cover,
- tongue crib,
- tongue depressor,
- tongue graft,
- tongue hangs out, one's
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of tongue
Examples from the Web for tongue
Abramson, biting her tongue, was widely portrayed in rival outlets as classily above the fray.
Language was no barrier; just about every tongue on the planet was babbling away, caught up in the elaborate mystique of a cult.
Joe Sutter is 93 now, silver-haired and moving a tad more slowly than he would like, but still pugnacious and sharp of tongue.
The monkey seemed to be sticking his tongue out at me in defiance.
The monkey avatar stared back at me, its tongue lolling out of its mouth.
Let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no deceit.Westminster Sermons|Charles Kingsley
The shape of the glottis is also modified in numerous ways by the movement of the tongue and mandibles.Our Bird Comrades|Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser
The head is not larger than that of the workers; but the tongue is shorter and more slender, with straighter maxill.An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. II (of 4)|William Kirby
Zura seemed more amused by Jane's manner and the funny twist in her tongue than impressed by her description.The House of the Misty Star|Fannie Caldwell Macaulay
She was very shy at first, but her tongue finally loosened, and we were enraptured with her soft voice and beautiful accent.The Charm of Ireland|Burton Egbert Stevenson
verb tongues, tonguing or tongued
Word Origin for tongue
Old English tunge "organ of speech, speech, language," from Proto-Germanic *tungon (cf. Old Saxon and Old Norse tunga, Old Frisian tunge, Middle Dutch tonghe, Dutch tong, Old High German zunga, German Zunge, Gothic tuggo), from PIE *dnghwa- (cf. Latin lingua "tongue, speech, language," from Old Latin dingua; Old Irish tenge, Welsh tafod, Lithuanian liezuvis, Old Church Slavonic jezyku).
For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come. The spelling of the ending of the word apparently is a 14c. attempt to indicate proper pronunciation, but the result is "neither etymological nor phonetic, and is only in a very small degree historical" [OED]. Meaning "foreign language" is from 1530s. Tongue-tied is first recorded 1520s.
"to touch with the tongue, lick," 1680s, from tongue (n.). Earlier as a verb it meant "drive out by order or reproach" (late 14c.). Related: Tongued; tonguing.
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)