\ˈtäŋ, 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, ˈtȯŋ- \ noun

Examples of tong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Use a fork to turn over the cutlets (tongs may dislodge the breading); cook until the meat feels firm and the second side is deep golden brown and crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to keep the breading from burning. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "Breaded chicken cutlets that can go in (or on) just about anything | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 Use the tongs to lay the broccoli rabe on the grill grate. Jim Shahin, charlotteobserver, "Go for grateness: 6 simple rules for grilling productively," 12 June 2018 The rescue work was grueling, and the tongs constantly threatened her. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "The woman who fought Chinatown sex slavery for decades," 2 Feb. 2018 Festivities will be on hand for all showings, as the CPD will offer campfires, marshmallows and roasting tongs, as well as hot coffee, tea and cocoa to keep guests warm. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "'Campfire Horrors' Halloween movie series begins, continues through October at Northerly Island," 10 Oct. 2017 Meanwhile, grill corn or cook directly over stovetop flame, turning with tongs, until charred all over, about 3 minutes per cob. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "A Glorious Chicken Korma Anyone Can Pull Off," 5 July 2018 But a closed set of tongs can function as a pretty good reamer when the scalloped end is inserted in the cut half of the fruit. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "From zest to juice, this is how to squeeze the most out of your oranges | Charlotte Observer," 24 Apr. 2018 Toss pork, breaking up with tongs or a wooden spoon, and continue to cook, tossing, until cooked through, about 1 minute more. Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Spicy Pork Bowl with Greens and Carrots," 4 June 2018 Use tongs to turn the onions, cover the grill, and cook 20 minutes more, or until the onions are cooked through, again checking after 10 minutes. Sheryl Julian,, "Recipe: Smoky, grilled charred onions make everything beside them on the plate come to life," 3 July 2018

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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Learn More about tong

Dictionary Entries near tong

tone wheel






tonga bean

Phrases Related to tong

curling tongs

Statistics for tong

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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