Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The fleshy, movable, muscular organ, attached in most vertebrates to the floor of the mouth, that is the principal organ of taste, an aid in chewing and swallowing, and, in humans, an important organ of speech.
  • n. An analogous organ or part in invertebrate animals, as in certain insects or mollusks.
  • n. The tongue of an animal, such as a cow, used as food.
  • n. A spoken language or dialect.
  • n. Speech; talk: If there is goodness in your heart, it will come to your tongue.
  • n. The act or power of speaking: She had no tongue to answer.
  • n. Speech or vocal sounds produced in a state of religious ecstasy.
  • n. Style or quality of utterance: her sharp tongue.
  • n. The bark or baying of a hunting dog that sees game: The dog gave tongue when the fox came through the hedge.
  • n. Something resembling a tongue in shape or function, as:
  • n. The vibrating end of a reed in a wind instrument.
  • n. A flame.
  • n. The flap of material under the laces or buckles of a shoe.
  • n. A spit of land; a promontory.
  • n. A bell clapper.
  • n. The harnessing pole attached to the front axle of a horse-drawn vehicle.
  • n. A protruding strip along the edge of a board that fits into a matching groove on the edge of another board.
  • transitive v. Music To separate or articulate (notes played on a brass or wind instrument) by shutting off the stream of air with the tongue.
  • transitive v. To touch or lick with the tongue.
  • transitive v. To provide (a board) with a tongue.
  • transitive v. To join by means of a tongue and groove.
  • transitive v. Archaic To scold.
  • intransitive v. Music To articulate notes on a brass or wind instrument.
  • intransitive v. To project: a spit of land tonguing into the bay.
  • idiom hold (one's) tongue To be or keep silent.
  • idiom lose (one's) tongue To lose the capacity to speak, as from shock.
  • idiom on the tip of (one's) tongue On the verge of being recalled or expressed.
  • idiom have To speak deceitfully; prevaricate or lie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A language.
  • n. Glossolalia.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An individual point of flame from a fire.
  • v. 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).
  • v. To talk; to prate.
  • v. to kiss involving the touching of both tongues, and/or licking.
  • v. To manipulate with the tongue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. an organ situated in the floor of the mouth of most vertebrates and connected with the hyoid arch.
  • n. The power of articulate utterance; speech.
  • n. Discourse; fluency of speech or expression.
  • n. Honorable discourse; eulogy.
  • n. A language; the whole sum of words used by a particular nation.
  • n. Speech; words or declarations only; -- opposed to thoughts or actions.
  • n. A people having a distinct language.
  • n.
  • n. The lingual ribbon, or odontophore, of a mollusk.
  • n. The proboscis of a moth or a butterfly.
  • n. The lingua of an insect.
  • n. Any small sole.
  • n. That which is considered as resembing an animal's tongue, in position or form.
  • n. A projection, or slender appendage or fixture; as, the tongue of a buckle, or of a balance.
  • n. A projection on the side, as of a board, which fits into a groove.
  • n. A point, or long, narrow strip of land, projecting from the mainland into a sea or a lake.
  • n. The pole of a vehicle; especially, the pole of an ox cart, to the end of which the oxen are yoked.
  • n. The clapper of a bell.
  • n. A short piece of rope spliced into the upper part of standing backstays, etc.; also. the upper main piece of a mast composed of several pieces.
  • n. Same as Reed, n., 5.
  • transitive v. To speak; to utter.
  • transitive v. To chide; to scold.
  • transitive v. To modulate or modify with the tongue, as notes, in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.
  • transitive v. To join means of a tongue and grove.
  • intransitive v. To talk; to prate.
  • intransitive v. To use the tongue in forming the notes, as in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n.
  • n. The principal organ of the special sense of taste or the gustatory faculty; the lingual apparatus, or lingua.
  • n. Specifically, in cookery, a beef's tongue prepared for the table: as, smoked tongue.
  • n. In conchology, the lingual ribbon, or odontophore, bearing the radula, or rasping surface. a structure highly characteristic of those mollusks which have heads, as gastropods. See the technical names (with cuts under radula and ribbon).
  • n. In entomology, some mouth-part or conformation of mouth-parts serving as a tongue or suggesting one; a proboscis; a haustellum; an antlia: as, the long spirally rolled tongue of a butterfly or moth; specifically, the central lobe of the ligula of a mandibulate insect. See the technical words, and cut under haustellum.
  • n. In various figurative uses, the faculty or mode of speech; speech.
  • n. The act or habit of speaking; utterance; discourse; sometimes, fluency of speech; talk.
  • n. The manner of speaking as regards sound; voice; tone; specifically, in sporting language, the voice of a hound or other dog: as, to give tongue.
  • n. The character of speech with regard to meaning or intention.
  • n. The mode or form of expression; especially, the sum of the words used by a particular nation; a language.
  • n. Words or declarations only; mere speech or talk, as opposed to thoughts or actions.
  • n. A people or race, as distinguished by its language.
  • n. (h ) Mention; fame; eulogy.
  • n. A vote; a voice.
  • n. Anything considered to resemble an animal's tongue in shape, position, or function.
  • n. Especially— A long narrow strip of land running out into a sea or lake; also, a gulf or outstretched bay (Isa. xi. 15).
  • n. A tapering jet of flame.
  • n. The pin or tang of a buckle or brooch which pierces the strap, ribbon, or object to be fastened.
  • n. The short movable rail of a switch by which the wheels are directed to one or the other line of rails.
  • n. The pole of a carriage, car, or other vehicle, to which the horses are fastened.
  • n. A projecting strip worked on the edge of a board, used to form a joint by fitting into a corresponding groove in another board.
  • n. The pointer or pin of a balance. See cut under balance.
  • n. (h ) Nautical, a short piece of rope spliced into the upper part of standing backstays to form an eye; also, the upper piece of a built inast.
  • n. The vibratile reed of a musical instrument of the reed group, particularly if made of metal, as in the harmonium, the concertina, etc. Compare cuts under reed.
  • n. The clapper of a bell.
  • n. That part of the blade of a sword on which the grip, shell, and pommel are fixed.
  • n. A narrow strip of leather or kid, over which the uppers or sides of a boot or shoe are laced together.
  • n. A young or small sole. Compare tongue-fish.
  • n. The sting of a bee.
  • n. The movable arm of a bevel, the principal member being the stock, which forms the case when the instrument is closed. E. H. Knight. See cut under bevel.
  • n. A current-of water, narrow, deep, and smooth, running rapidly between rocks without breaking or twisting; a sled-run. A tongue is well-known to anglers as a favorite resting-place of salmon in their laborious ascent of rapid streams.
  • n. One of the seven (later eight) divisions or “nations” composing the order of the Hospitalers; also, a meeting of a division.
  • n. A fever which prevailed in the western United States in the winter of 1842–3.
  • n. An inflammation of the tongue occurring in some forms of epidemic erysipelas.
  • n. Synonyms . Tongue is the Anglo-Saxon equivalent for language. See language.
  • To chide; scold; reproach.
  • To speak; utter.
  • In playing on musical wind-instruments, to modify or interrupt the tone of by means of a stroke of the tongue, so as to produce a marcato or staccato effect, as in the flute, the cornet, etc. See tonguing. Also tip.
  • To join or fit together by means of a tongue and groove. See the phrase.
  • To talk; prate: with indefinite it.
  • In music, to use the tongue for the purpose of modifying sounds in playing the flute and some other wind-instruments.
  • To run out; project: as, a point of land tongues out into the sea.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the flap of material under the laces of a shoe or boot
  • n. any long thin projection that is transient
  • n. a mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane and located in the oral cavity
  • n. the tongue of certain animals used as meat
  • n. a human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed to e.g. a computer language
  • v. articulate by tonguing, as when playing wind instruments
  • v. lick or explore with the tongue
  • n. a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea
  • n. a manner of speaking
  • n. metal striker that hangs inside a bell and makes a sound by hitting the side

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English tunge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English tonge, tunge, tung, from Old English tunge, from Proto-Germanic *tungōn (“tongue”) (compare West Frisian tonge, Dutch tong, German Zunge, Danish tunge, Swedish tunga), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (compare Irish teanga, Latin lingua, Tocharian A/B känt/kantwo, Lithuanian liežùvis, Polish język 'language, tongue', Armenian լեզու (lezu), Sanskrit जिह्वा (jihvā́)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Also nautical
    "Also a dangerous mass of ice projecting under water from an iceberg or floe nearly horizontally it was on one of these shelves that the Guardian frigate struck "
    from the Sailors Word Book http://goo.gl/ZIhkR

    January 18, 2013

  • *tries to figure out how to use "mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane" in conversation*

    *fails*

    October 8, 2009

  • This WordNet definition was brought to you by the letter m.

    October 8, 2009

  • Name of a village in northwest Scotland. Another one in Mali.

    October 8, 2009