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tong 1(tông, tŏng)
tr.v. tonged, tong·ing, tongs
To seize, hold, or manipulate with tongs.
[Back-formation from tongs.]
tong 2(tông, tŏng)
1. A Chinese association or political party.
2. An association or a secret society of Chinese in the United States, believed to be involved in organized crime.
[Cantonese tong4, assembly hall, familial relationship between cousins, from Middle Chinese tɦaŋ (also the source of Mandarin táng).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. to gather or seize with tongs
2. (Hairdressing & Grooming) to curl or style (hair) with curling tongs
(Historical Terms) (formerly) a Chinese secret society or association, esp one popularly assumed to engage in criminal activities
[C20: from Chinese (Cantonese) t'ong meeting place]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
2. to lift, seize, gather, hold, or handle with tongs, as logs or oysters.v.i.
3. to use, or work with, tongs.
[before 900; Middle English tong(e), Old English, c. Old Frisian tange, Old Saxon tanga, Old High German zanga, Old Norse tǫng]
1. (in China) an association, society, or political party.
2. (among Chinese living in the U.S.) a fraternal or secret society, often associated with criminal activities.
[1880–85, Amer.; < dial. Chinese (Guangdong) tòhng, akin to Chinese táng meeting hall]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: tonged
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011