tongue


1tongue

noun \ˈtəŋ\

: 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

Full Definition of TONGUE

1
a :  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 organ
b :  a part of various invertebrate animals that is analogous to the tongue
2
:  the flesh of a tongue (as of the ox or sheep) used as food
3
:  the power of communication through speech
4
a :  language; especially :  a spoken language
b :  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 plural
d :  the cry of or as if of a hound pursuing or in sight of game —used especially in the phrase to give tongue
5
:  a tapering flame <tongues of fire>
6
:  a long narrow strip of land projecting into a body of water
7
:  something resembling an animal's tongue in being elongated and fastened at one end only: as
a :  a movable pin in a buckle
b :  a metal ball suspended inside a bell so as to strike against the sides as the bell is swung
c :  the pole of a vehicle
d :  the flap under the lacing or buckles of a shoe at the throat of the vamp
8
a :  the rib on one edge of a board that fits into a corresponding groove in an edge of another board to make a flush joint
b :  feather 4
tongue·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of TONGUE

  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

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral

Rhymes with TONGUE

2tongue

verb

: 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

tonguedtongu·ing \ˈtəŋ-iŋ\

Full Definition of TONGUE

transitive verb
1
archaic :  scold
2
:  to touch or lick with or as if with the tongue
3
a :  to cut a tongue on <tongue a board>
b :  to join (as boards) by means of a tongue and groove <tongue flooring together>
4
:  to articulate (notes) by tonguing
intransitive verb
1
:  to project in a tongue
2
:  to articulate notes on a wind instrument by successively interrupting the stream of wind with the action of the tongue

Examples of TONGUE

  1. learning how to tongue notes on the clarinet

First Known Use of TONGUE

14th century

Tongue

geographical name \ˈtəŋ\

Definition of TONGUE

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

tongue

noun \ˈtəŋ\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of TONGUE

: 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

tongue

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Muscular organ on the floor of the mouth. It is important in motions of eating, drinking, and swallowing, and its complex movements shape the sounds of speech. Its top surface consists of thousands of raised projections (papillae). The receptors of taste (taste buds) are embedded in the papillae and are sensitive to four basic flavours: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. More specific flavours are influenced by the sense of smell. The tongue's appearance (e.g., coated or red) can give clues to disease elsewhere. Disorders of the tongue include cancer (often caused by smokeless tobacco), leukoplakia (white patches), fungal infection, and congenital disorders. Different animals use the tongue to serve varied functions; for example, frogs have an elongated tongue adapted to capturing prey, the snake's tongue collects and transfers odours to a specialized sensory structure to help locate prey, and cats use their tongues for grooming and cleaning.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: tongue and groove
Previous Word in the Dictionary: tongsman
All Words Near: tongue

Seen & Heard

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

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More