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.
- 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
Related Words for tongue-in-cheekwhimsical, joking, humorous, jocular, sarcastic, playful, satirical, amusing, flippant, ironic, irreverent, comic, jokingly, blithe, clever, comical, dry, facetious, farcical, flip
Examples from the Web for tongue-in-cheek
Contemporary Examples of tongue-in-cheek
However, I spent enough time with him and other players to witness moments, comments and actions that were not so tongue-in-cheek.Why I Named My Quidditch Film Mudbloods
October 14, 2014
The painter Ricardo Francis produced three separate works for the show, all with tongue-in-cheek names.Aces High: Where to Buy Affordable Art
February 15, 2014
He has total, tongue-in-cheek loyalty to Keough Novak, his fictional sister, who has more than 4,000 Twitter followers of her own.The Book of B.J. Novak: An Absurdist, Scathingly Funny Literary Debut
February 6, 2014
With his disarming, tongue-in-cheek salutations, he got on the phone.The Private David Frost
John M. Florescu
September 3, 2013
Most of the clips online that show Corden singing are tongue-in-cheek, though his voice does come off as serviceable.‘Into the Woods’ Cast: Grading the Singing of Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp & More
July 25, 2013
verb tongues, tonguing or tongued
Word Origin for tongue
1933, from phrase to speak with one's tongue in one's cheek "to speak insincerely" (1748), which somehow must have been suggestive of sly irony or humorous insincerity, but the exact notion is obscure.
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.
Ironically: “The critic's remarks of praise were uttered strictly tongue-in-cheek.”
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)