- tongue [tuŋ]n.[ME tunge < OE, akin to Ger zunge < IE base * dṇĝhū-, tongue > L lingua (OL dingua)]1. the movable muscular structure attached to the floor of the mouth in most vertebrates: it is an important organ in the ingestion of food, the perception of taste, and, in humans, the articulation of speech sounds2. an analogous part in invertebrate animals; specif.,a) a radulab) the proboscis in certain insects, as bees3. an animal's tongue used as food4.a) the human tongue as the organ of speechb) ideas expressed by speaking; talk; speechc) the act or power of speakingd) a manner or style of speaking, with reference to tone, diction, etc. [a glib tongue]5.a) a language or dialectb) in the Bible, a nation or people speaking a distinct language: Rev. 7:96. [pl.] see GLOSSOLALIA7. the cry of a hunting dog, etc. in sight of game: chiefly in give tongue, to start barking8. something resembling a tongue in shape, position, movement, or use; specif.,a) the flap under the laces or strap of a shoeb) the clapper of a bellc) the pin of a buckle, etc.d) the pole of a wagon, etc.e) the projecting tenon of a tongue-and-groove jointf) in machines, a projecting flange, rib, etc.g) a thin strip of flexible material, as cane, that produces a musical sound when vibrated, as in a wind instrumenth) a narrow strip of land, ice, etc. extending into a body of water, an intrusion, etc.i) a narrow inlet of waterj) a long, narrow flamek) the pointer of a scale, etc.vt.tongued, tonguing1. Archaica) to reproach or scoldb) to speak or say2. to touch, lick, etc. with the tongue3.a) to cut a TONGUE (sense 8e) on or inb) to join by means of a tongue-and-groove joint4. Music to play by tonguing: see TONGUINGvi.1. Rare to talk or talk much2. to project like a tongue3. Music to use tonguing: see TONGUING——————find one's tongueto recover the ability to talk, as after shock or embarrassment——————hold one's tongueto refrain from speaking——————on everyone's tongueprevailing as common gossip——————on the tip of someone's tongue or on the tip of the tongue1. almost said by someone2. about to be said, esp. because almost but not quite recalled——————speak in tonguesto engage in glossolalia——————(with) tongue in cheekin a humorously ironic, mocking, or insincere way
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.