[tawngz, tongz]
noun (usually used with a plural verb)
any of various implements consisting of two arms hinged, pivoted, or otherwise fastened together, for seizing, holding, or lifting something (usually used with pair of ).

see tong1 Unabridged


1 [tawng, tong]
verb (used with object)
to lift, seize, gather, hold, or handle with tongs, as logs or oysters.
verb (used without object)
to use, or work with, tongs.

before 900; 1865–70, for def 2; Middle English tong(e) (singular), tongen, tonges (plural), Old English; cognate with Dutch tang, German Zange pair of tongs or pincers; akin to Greek dáknein to bite

tonger, noun


2 [tawng, tong]
(in China) an association, society, or political party.
(among Chinese living in the U.S.) a fraternal or secret society, often associated with criminal activities.

1880–85, Americanism; < dialectal Chinese (Guangdong) tòhng, akin to Chinese táng meeting hall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tong1 (tɒŋ)
1.  to gather or seize with tongs
2.  to curl or style (hair) with curling tongs

tong2 (tɒŋ)
(formerly) a Chinese secret society or association, esp one popularly assumed to engage in criminal activities
[C20: from Chinese (Cantonese) t'ong meeting place]

tongs (tɒŋz)
pl n
Also called: pair of tongs a tool for grasping or lifting, consisting of a hinged, sprung, or pivoted pair of arms or levers, joined at one end
[plural of Old English tange; related to Old Saxon tanga, Old High German zanga, Old Norse tong]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"Chinese secret society," 1883, from Cantonese t'ong "assembly hall."

O.E. tange, tang "tongs," from P.Gmc. *tango (cf. O.S. tanga, O.N. töng, Swed. tång, O.Fris. tange, M.Du. tanghe, Du. tang, O.H.G. zanga, Ger. Zange), lit. "that which bites," from PIE base *dank- "bite" (cf. Skt. dasati "biter;" Gk. daknein "to bite," dax "biting"). For sense evolution, cf.
Fr. mordache "tongs," from mordre "to bite."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Using tongs and a hot pad, lift rack with jars onto edge of canner.
Remove the jars with tongs and then allow to cool overnight.
But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were brought in
  with tongs, and set before her.
But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were brought in
  with tongs, and set before her.
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