\ 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 An employee handing out masks with a tong at one entrance to Caesars Palace estimated that 80% of visitors weren't wearing masks during reopening weekend. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Same old Vegas? Here's what coronavirus has and hasn't changed about Sin City," 7 June 2020 To remove cans, grip the edges with tongs and lift them carefully out of the pot. Saveur, "How to Cook a Burger," 22 Apr. 2020 Gently toss with tongs until the cheese melts into a sauce and the spaghetti is well-coated. Los Angeles Times, "How to Boil Water: Boiling pasta (plus three-ingredient spaghetti carbonara!)," 3 Apr. 2020 Except for minor changes like not being allowed to serve themselves with tongs at the buffet, not much on the ship changed. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "This Indiana couple watched the pandemic spread from aboard a cruise ship," 30 Mar. 2020 Turn cabbage with tongs, then continue to cook, undisturbed, until lightly charred and tender in some spots and still crisp in others, about 2 minutes. Paul Stephen,, "Recipe: Chicken Soup with Charred Cabbage," 4 Mar. 2020 Using tongs, transfer the pasta to a large metal mixing bowl (leave the cooking water simmering in the pot). Tina Danze, Dallas News, "What to cook this week: 8 starter pantry cuisine recipes with easy variations," 6 Apr. 2020 Do not drain the pasta, but using tongs, transfer the pasta directly from the pot to the spinach and cream sauce. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Five best recipes of 2019," 12 Dec. 2019 Using tongs, flip the thighs and cook for 2 more minutes. Matt Brooks, Washington Post, "Turnips take a star turn in this hearty skillet dinner with apple, potatoes and rosemary," 9 Dec. 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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Cite this Entry

“Tong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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