What does tongue mean?

Definitions for tongue

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tongue.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tongue, lingua, glossa, clapper(noun)

    a mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane and located in the oral cavity

  2. natural language, tongue(noun)

    a human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed to e.g. a computer language

  3. tongue, knife(noun)

    any long thin projection that is transient

    "tongues of flame licked at the walls"; "rifles exploded quick knives of fire into the dark"

  4. tongue(noun)

    a manner of speaking

    "he spoke with a thick tongue"; "she has a glib tongue"

  5. spit, tongue(noun)

    a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea

  6. tongue(noun)

    the tongue of certain animals used as meat

  7. tongue(noun)

    the flap of material under the laces of a shoe or boot

  8. clapper, tongue(verb)

    metal striker that hangs inside a bell and makes a sound by hitting the side

  9. tongue(verb)

    articulate by tonguing, as when playing wind instruments

  10. tongue(verb)

    lick or explore with the tongue


  1. tongue(Noun)

    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. tongue(Noun)

    A language.

    He was speaking in his native tongue.

  3. tongue(Noun)


  4. tongue(Noun)

    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.

  5. tongue(Noun)

    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.

  6. tongue(Noun)

    An individual point of flame from a fire.

  7. tongue(Verb)

    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).

  8. tongue(Verb)

    to kiss involving the touching of both tongues, and/or licking.

  9. tongue(Verb)

    To manipulate with the tongue.

    Playing wind instruments involves tonguing on the reed or mouthpiece.

  10. Origin: From tonge, tunge, tung, from tunge, from tungōn (compare Dutch tong, German Zunge, Swedish tunga), from dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (compare Irish teanga, Latin lingua, Tocharian A/B känt/kantwo, Lithuanian liežùvis, Polish język 'language, tongue', Armenian լեզու, Sanskrit जिह्वा).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tongue(noun)

    an organ situated in the floor of the mouth of most vertebrates and connected with the hyoid arch

  2. Tongue(noun)

    the power of articulate utterance; speech

  3. Tongue(noun)

    discourse; fluency of speech or expression

  4. Tongue(noun)

    honorable discourse; eulogy

  5. Tongue(noun)

    a language; the whole sum of words used by a particular nation; as, the English tongue

  6. Tongue(noun)

    speech; words or declarations only; -- opposed to thoughts or actions

  7. Tongue(noun)

    a people having a distinct language

  8. Tongue(noun)

    the lingual ribbon, or odontophore, of a mollusk

  9. Tongue(noun)

    the proboscis of a moth or a butterfly

  10. Tongue(noun)

    the lingua of an insect

  11. Tongue(noun)

    any small sole

  12. Tongue(noun)

    that which is considered as resembing an animal's tongue, in position or form

  13. Tongue(noun)

    a projection, or slender appendage or fixture; as, the tongue of a buckle, or of a balance

  14. Tongue(noun)

    a projection on the side, as of a board, which fits into a groove

  15. Tongue(noun)

    a point, or long, narrow strip of land, projecting from the mainland into a sea or a lake

  16. Tongue(noun)

    the pole of a vehicle; especially, the pole of an ox cart, to the end of which the oxen are yoked

  17. Tongue(noun)

    the clapper of a bell

  18. Tongue(noun)

    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

  19. Tongue(noun)

    same as Reed, n., 5

  20. Tongue(verb)

    to speak; to utter

  21. Tongue(verb)

    to chide; to scold

  22. Tongue(verb)

    to modulate or modify with the tongue, as notes, in playing the flute and some other wind instruments

  23. Tongue(verb)

    to join means of a tongue and grove; as, to tongue boards together

  24. Tongue(verb)

    to talk; to prate

  25. Tongue(verb)

    to use the tongue in forming the notes, as in playing the flute and some other wind instruments


  1. Tongue

    The tongue is a muscular hydrostat on the floors of the mouths of most vertebrates which manipulates food for mastication. It is the primary organ of taste, as much of the upper surface of the tongue is covered in papillae and taste buds. It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva, and is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. In humans a secondary function of the tongue is phonetic articulation. The tongue also serves as a natural means of cleaning one's teeth. The ability to perceive different tastes is not localised in different parts of the tongue, as is widely believed. This error arose because of misinterpretation of some 19th-century research.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tongue

    tung, n. the fleshy organ in the mouth, used in tasting, swallowing, and speech: power of speech: manner of speaking: speech: discourse: a language: anything like a tongue in shape: the catch of a buckle: the pointer of a balance: a point of land.—adjs. Tongued, having a tongue.; Tongue′less, having no tongue.—n. Tongue′let, a little tongue.—p.adj. Tongue′-shaped, shaped like a tongue: (bot.) linear and fleshy and blunt at the point, as a leaf.—n. Tongue′ster, a babbler.—adjs. Tongue′-tied, -tacked, having an impediment, as if the tongue were tied: unable to speak freely.—n. Tongue′-work, babble, chatter.—Hold one's tongue (see Hold). [A.S. tunge; Ice. tunga, Ger. zunge, the tongue; L. lingua (old form dingua).]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    An unruly member that is frequently put out, yet an artist who's a hard worker at the palate and a great wag among women.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. tongue

    [Anglo-Saxon tunga]. The long tapered end of one piece of timber made to fay into a scarph at the end of another piece, to gain length. Also, a low salient point of land. 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.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. tongue

    The pole of an ox-cart (local).

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tongue' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3897

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tongue' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4325

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tongue' in Nouns Frequency: #1451

How to pronounce tongue?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say tongue in sign language?

  1. tongue


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tongue in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tongue in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of tongue in a Sentence

  1. Egyptian Proverb:

    A man's ruin lies in his tongue.

  2. Miguel de Cervantes:

    The pen is the tongue of the mind.

  3. Miguel de Cervantes:

    Be slow of tongue and quick of eye.

  4. French Proverb:

    Better the foot slip than the tongue.

  5. Proverb:

    When gold speaks every tongue is silent

Images & Illustrations of tongue

  1. tonguetonguetonguetonguetongue

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tongue

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"tongue." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 21 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tongue>.

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