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(1)   Metal striker that hangs inside a bell and makes a sound by hitting the side
(2)   The flap of material under the laces of a shoe or boot
(3)   A mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane and located in the oral cavity
(4)   A human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed to e.g. a computer language
(5)   A manner of speaking
"He spoke with a thick tongue"
"She has a glib tongue"
(6)   The tongue of certain animals used as meat
(7)   A narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea
(8)   Any long thin projection that is transient
"Tongues of flame licked at the walls"
"Rifles exploded quick knives of fire into the dark"


(9)   Lick or explore with the tongue
(10)   Articulate by tonguing, as when playing wind instruments


From from from from . Cognates include Latin .

Alternative spellings

  • tounge (considered a misspelling); tung (informal/eye dialect); tong, tonge, toong, toongue, toung, toungue, tunge (obsolete)


  1. The flexible muscular organ in the mouth that is used to move food around, for tasting and that is moved into various positions to modify the flow of air from the lungs in order to produce different sounds in speech.
  2. A language.
    He was speaking in his native tongue.
  3. In a shoe, the flap of material that goes between the laces and the foot, so called because it resembles a tongue in the mouth.
  4. Any large or long physical protrusion on an automotive, a machine part or any other part that fits into a long groove on another part.


  1. On a wind instrument, to articulate a note by starting the air with a tap of the tongue, as though by speaking a 'd' or 't' sound (alveolar plosive).
  2. to kiss involving the touching of both tongues, and/or licking.

Related terms

  • beef tongue
  • cat got someone's tongue
  • forked tongue
  • give tongue, give tongue to
  • mother tongue
  • native tongue
  • sharp tongue