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noun \ˈtəŋ\

Simple Definition of tongue

  • : the soft, movable part in the mouth that is used for tasting and eating food and in human beings for speaking

  • : the tongue of an animal (such as an ox or sheep) that is eaten as food

  • : a particular way or quality of speaking

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tongue

  1. 1a :  a fleshy movable muscular process of the floor of the mouths of most vertebrates that bears sensory end organs and small glands and functions especially in taking and swallowing food and in humans as a speech organb :  a part of various invertebrate animals that is analogous to the tongue

  2. 2 :  the flesh of a tongue (as of the ox or sheep) used as food

  3. 3 :  the power of communication through speech

  4. 4a :  language; especially :  a spoken languageb :  manner or quality of utterance with respect to tone or sound, the sense of what is expressed, or the intention of the speaker <she has a clever tongue> <a sharp tongue>c :  ecstatic usually unintelligible utterance usually accompanying religious excitation —usually used in plurald :  the cry of or as if of a hound pursuing or in sight of game —used especially in the phrase to give tongue

  5. 5 :  a tapering flame <tongues of fire>

  6. 6 :  a long narrow strip of land projecting into a body of water

  7. 7 :  something resembling an animal's tongue in being elongated and fastened at one end only: asa :  a movable pin in a buckleb :  a metal ball suspended inside a bell so as to strike against the sides as the bell is swungc :  the pole of a vehicled :  the flap under the lacing or buckles of a shoe at the throat of the vamp

  8. 8a :  the rib on one edge of a board that fits into a corresponding groove in an edge of another board to make a flush jointb :  feather 4

tonguelike play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of tongue in a sentence

  1. The cow ran its tongue over its lips.

  2. The taste of the spice was still on her tongue.

  3. The little girl stuck her tongue out at me.

  4. He spoke in a foreign tongue.

  5. English is my native tongue.

  6. They speak the same tongue.

  7. His sharp tongue is going to get him into trouble someday.

Origin of tongue

Middle English tunge, from Old English; akin to Old High German zunga tongue, Latin lingua

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with tongue




Simple Definition of tongue

  • : to produce separate notes when you are blowing air through a musical instrument (such as a trumpet) by using your tongue to briefly stop the flow of air

  • : to touch or lick something with your tongue

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tongue

tonguedtonguing play \ˈtəŋ-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  scold

  3. 2 :  to touch or lick with or as if with the tongue

  4. 3a :  to cut a tongue on <tongue a board>b :  to join (as boards) by means of a tongue and groove <tongue flooring together>

  5. 4 :  to articulate (notes) by tonguing

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to project in a tongue

  8. 2 :  to articulate notes on a wind instrument by successively interrupting the stream of wind with the action of the tongue

Examples of tongue in a sentence

  1. learning how to tongue notes on the clarinet

14th Century

First Known Use of tongue

14th century


geographical name \ˈtəŋ\

Definition of Tongue

  1. river 246 miles (396 kilometers) N Wyoming & S Montana flowing N into Yellowstone River

TONGUE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈtəŋ\

Definition of tongue for Students

  1. 1 :  a fleshy movable part of the mouth used in tasting, in taking and swallowing food, and by human beings in speaking

  2. 2 :  a particular way or quality of speaking <Keep a polite tongue.>

  3. 3 :  language 1 <Many tongues are spoken in a big city.>

  4. 4 :  something that is long and fastened at one end <a tongue of land> <the tongue of a shoe>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈtəŋ\

Medical Definition of tongue

  1. :  a process of the floor of the mouth that is attached basally to the hyoid bone, that consists essentially of a mass of extrinsic muscle attaching its base to other parts, intrinsic muscle by which parts of the structure move in relation to each other, and an epithelial covering rich in sensory end organs and small glands, and that functions especially in taking and swallowing food and as a speech organ

Illustration of tongue

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tongue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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