\ 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 dry, heat-proof tongs or wooden chopsticks to transfer dredged chicken pieces to hot oil, taking care not to splash and making sure pot is not overcrowded. Gabriella Gershenson, WSJ, "The Greatest New Year’s Menus on the Planet (at Least We Think So)," 26 Dec. 2018 Transfer vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon or tongs; discard thyme. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Cider-Braised Chicken-and-Fennel Panzanella," 21 Sep. 2018 Cook until the bottom is crisp and dark golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then use tongs to carefully turn the taquitos over and cook on the other side until crisp and dark golden brown, 3 minutes. Joe Yonan, The Seattle Times, "How to make crispy, convenient taquitos (Slurpee not included)," 18 Sep. 2018 Use tongs to transfer the ramekins to a rimmed baking sheet, then carefully remove foil. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Savory Bread Pudding," 16 Aug. 2018 Using tongs, place the foil packets over direct heat and cook for 8 minutes. Blake Bakkila,, "3 Easy Summer Campfire Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy," 22 June 2018 Using tongs, dip 1 crab in the egg, shake off the excess, then dip in the flour mixture, turning to coat it. Sally Pasley Vargas,, "Recipe: Crispy soft-shell crabs and chipotle mayo fill these po’ boy sandwiches," 18 June 2018 Use tongs to turn it in the pan, then remove it and discard any discolored oil. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Two Ways To Cook Meat Perfectly Every Time," 18 Aug. 2017 Add butter, half of the cheese, and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Kim Walker, Woman's Day, "Desperation Dinners: Spaghetti with Pepper and Cheese," 24 Nov. 2010

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

Statistics for tong

Last Updated

10 Jan 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

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