\ ˈtäŋ How to pronounce tong (audio) , ˈtȯŋ\

Definition of tong

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a secret society or fraternal organization especially of Chinese in the U.S. formerly notorious for gang warfare


tonged; tonging; tongs

Definition of tong (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to take, gather, hold, or handle with tongs tong oysters

intransitive verb

: to use tongs especially in taking or gathering something

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Other Words from tong


tonger \ ˈtäŋ-​ər How to pronounce tonger (audio) , ˈtȯŋ-​ \ noun

Examples of tong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Use tongs to flip chicken and cook second side until golden, about 3 minutes more. Jeanmarie Brownson,, "Weeknight chicken challenge met with a hot griddle and fast recipes," 11 Sep. 2019 Use tongs to arrange chicken, skin side down, in a single uncrowded layer on the grates. Jeanmarie Brownson, Twin Cities, "Homemade harissa sauce sparks ordinary grilled chicken," 11 July 2019 The tongs can be rough and can tear the lettuce leaves. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Beware a dryer fire!," 12 Sep. 2019 Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken thighs to a bowl. NBC News, "An Instant Pot chicken teriyaki recipe that goes from freezer to table in 20 minutes," 5 Sep. 2019 Using long tongs or a canning jar lifter, carefully submerge jars in the water, stacking them if necessary. Denise Drower Swidey,, "Healthy hacks and 2 recipes to help keep your good eating habits on track," 20 Aug. 2019 To get the beer can out once the chicken is done, use a potholder to brace the can and use the tongs to grab the chicken inside the cavity from the top and gently wiggle the two apart. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Use a local brew to infuse a juicy Alaska beer can chicken," 13 June 2019 Using tongs and a knife or carving fork, cut and shred the meat into chunks, discarding the bone and any fat. Christopher Kimball,, "Recipes: Four perfect tacos featuring fish, turkey, or mojo pork," 4 Sep. 2019 Tiffany also plans to add home furnishings and accessories, such as ice tongs and beer mugs, with male customers in mind. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Tiffany & Co. launches men’s line, hoping diamonds are a dude’s best friend," 17 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Later than evening, her long hair was tonged into glamorous loose waves for a garden party hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland., "Meghan Markle Has a New Hairdresser in Her Glam Squad and His Signature Look Is 'Perfect for Her'," 12 July 2018 Oystermen spent a month tonging up millions of adult oysters and moving them to the new location. Ben Raines,, "Can 100 trillion oyster eggs save Mobile Bay?," 24 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tong.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tong


1883, in the meaning defined above


1868, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for tong


Chinese (Guangdong) tòhng, literally, hall



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Dictionary Entries near tong

tone wheel






tonga bean

Statistics for tong

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tong

The first known use of tong was in 1868

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More from Merriam-Webster on tong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tong

Comments on tong

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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