ˈtäŋz How to pronounce tongs (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: any of numerous grasping devices consisting commonly of two pieces joined at one end by a pivot or hinged like scissors

Examples of tongs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This one comes with a 25-ounce stainless steel shaker, double measuring jigger, stirrer/mixer spoon, strainer, and ice tongs. Women's Health, 6 Feb. 2023 Add the spaghetti and mix with tongs to fully incorporate all the ingredients. Sheryl Julian,, 17 Jan. 2023 Some might cook faster than others, just remove the cooked ones and bake the other slices, turning with kitchen tongs, as needed, until ready. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Dec. 2022 The kit includes a spatula, and fork and tongs with bottle openers. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 10 Nov. 2022 Whisk to combine, then add chicken and toss to coat with a pair of tongs. cleveland, 30 Jan. 2023 Two sets of tongs in heatproof gloved hands are a good way to do so. Michael A. Gardiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Jan. 2023 Dirty dishes were a big bowl, a pair of tongs, and a baking sheet. Outside Online, 23 Nov. 2022 Carefully turn the chops with a pair of tongs and continue to cook the other side to golden brown. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 4 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tongs.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English tonges, plural of tonge, from Old English tang; akin to Old High German zanga tongs and perhaps to Greek daknein to bite

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tongs was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near tongs

Cite this Entry

“Tongs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun plural
ˈtäŋz How to pronounce tongs (audio)
: a device for taking hold of something that consists usually of two movable pieces joined at one end

More from Merriam-Webster on tongs

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!