tong

tong

1 [tawng, tong]
noun
verb (used with object)
2.
to lift, seize, gather, hold, or handle with tongs, as logs or oysters.
verb (used without object)
3.
to use, or work with, tongs.

Origin:
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged

tong

2 [tawng, tong]
noun
1.
(in China) an association, society, or political party.
2.
(among Chinese living in the U.S.) a fraternal or secret society, often associated with criminal activities.

Origin:
1880–85, Americanism; < dialectal Chinese (Guangdong) tòhng, akin to Chinese táng meeting hall

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tong1 (tɒŋ)
 
vb
1.  to gather or seize with tongs
2.  to curl or style (hair) with curling tongs

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

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Tong
"Chinese secret society," 1883, from Cantonese t'ong "assembly hall."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tong

see hammer and tongs.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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