[sometimes with sing. v.] a device for seizing or lifting objects, having two long arms pivoted or hinged together
also called pair of tongs
Origin of tongsMiddle English tongys, plural of tonge from Old English tange, akin to German zange from Indo-European base an unverified form den?-, to bite: basic sense “those that bite together”
plural nounused with a sing. or pl. verb
A grasping device consisting of two arms that are joined, often at one end, as by a pivot or a scissorlike hinge.
Origin of tongsMiddle English tonges pl. of tonge from Old English tang, tong
left to right: kitchen and block-ice tongs
- (plural form of tong) An instrument or tool used for picking things up without touching them with the hands or fingers, consisting of two slats or grips hinged at the end or in the middle, and sometimes including a spring to open the grips.
- (by extension) (plural form of tong) A large scissors-like two-piece center-hinged forged-iron implement with oval-loop handles and with pointed tips turned inward (in the same plane as and perpendicular to the handles) to facilitate lifting and carrying a block of ice. Often called ice tongs.
- third-person singular simple present indicative form of tong
tong ("tool for manipulating things in a fire") + -s
- plural form of tong
tong ("Chinese secret society") + s