\ ˈtäŋz How to pronounce tongs (audio) , ˈtȯŋz \

Definition of tongs

: 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 Both wielded size-appropriate trash picker-uppers — barbecue tongs. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 When the piece bobs up on the opposite end, a person on that side grabs it with large tongs and begins sliding it out, Lehner explained. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Feb. 2022 Apalachicola Bay—which is one of the last places in the country where oystermen are still required to use wooden tongs to harvest wild oysters, rather than dredging—has been its epicenter. Jack Tamisiea, Wired, 1 Jan. 2022 The guests’ pleasure at all the food is lost on Heather, though, who is mad that the crew is bringing out platters of food without tongs. Justin Curto, Vulture, 29 Nov. 2021 The white-hot rivets would be tossed to the riveters, who would catch them in a cone and grab them with tongs before installing them. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Apr. 2022 Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, being careful not to break them. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Jan. 2022 There are cold takes, there are freezing takes and there are ice-age takes so frigid they should be handled with gloves, tongs and safety goggles. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2022 The food court stand, lit with a bright-pink, Instagrammable neon sign, forgoes the traditional bakery case service for self-serve tongs and trays. Nick Kindelsperger, chicagotribune.com, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tongs

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tongs

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

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

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tongs.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tongs. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tongs


noun plural
\ ˈtäŋz How to pronounce tongs (audio) , ˈtȯŋz \

Kids Definition of tongs

: a tool for taking hold of or lifting something that consists usually of two movable pieces joined at one end or in the middle

More from Merriam-Webster on tongs

Nglish: Translation of tongs for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tongs


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