Dictionary: TONGUE, or TUNG – TOOT

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


TONGUE, or TUNG, n. [Sax. tung, tunga; Goth. tuggo; Sw. tunga; Dan. tunge; D. tong; G. zunge; Ir. and Gaelic, teanga; Ant. L. tingua. We see by the Gothic, that n is not radical; the word belongs to Class Dg. It signifies a shoot or extension, like L. digitus and dug. Our common orthography is incorrect; the true spelling is tung.]

  1. In man, one of the instruments of taste, and also one of the instruments of speech; and in other animals one of the instruments of taste. It is also an instrument of deglutition. In some animals, the tongue is used for drawing the food into the mouth, as in animals of the bovine genus, &c. Other animals lap their drink, as dogs. The tongue is covered with membranes, and the outer one is full of papillæ of a pyramidical figure, under which lies a thin, soft, reticular coat perforated with innumerable holes, and always lined with a thick and white or yellowish mucus. Cyc.
  2. Speech; discourse; sometimes, fluency of speech. Much tongue and much judgment seldom go together. L'Estrange.
  3. The power of articulate utterance; speech. Parrots imitating human tongue. Dryden.
  4. Speech, as well or ill used; mode of speaking. Keep a good tongue in thy head. Shak. The tongue of the wise is health. Prov. xii.
  5. A language; the whole sum of words used by a particular nation. The English tongue, within two hundred years, will probably be spoken by two or three hundred millions of people in North America.
  6. Speech; words or declarations only; opposed to thoughts or actions. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John iii.
  7. A nation, as distinguished by their language. I will gather all nations and tongues. Is. lxvi.
  8. A point; a projection; as, the tongue of a buckle or of a balance.
  9. A point or long narrow strip of land, projecting from the main into a sea or a lake.
  10. The taper part of any thing; in the rigging of a ship, a short piece of rope splised into the upper part of standing backstays, &c. to the size of the mast-head. To hold the tongue, to be silent. Addison.

TONGUE, v.i.

To talk; to prate. Shak.

TONGUE, v.t.

To chide; to scold. How might she tongue me. Shak.


Having a tongue. Tongued like the night-crow. Donne.


A mode of grafting by inserting the end of a cion in a particular manner.


  1. Having no tongue.
  2. Speechless; as, a tongueless block. Shak.
  3. Unnamed; not spoken of. One good deed dying tongueless. [Not used.] Shak.


A great talker. [Not in use.] Tatler.


In botany, a tongue-shaped leaf, is linear and fleshy, blunt at the end, convex underneath, and having usually a cartilaginous border. Martyn.

TONGUE-TIE, v.t. [tongue and tie.]

To deprive of speech or the power of speech, or of distinct articulation. Goodman.


  1. Destitute of the power of distinct articulation; having an impediment in the speech. Holder.
  2. Unable to speak freely, from whatever cause. Love and tongue-tied simplicity. Shak.

TON'IC, a. [from Gr. τονος, L. tonus. See Tone.]

  1. Literally, increasing tension; hence, increasing strength, as tonic power.
  2. In medicine, increasing strength, or the tone of the animal system; obviating the effects of debility, and restoring healthy functions.
  3. Relating to tones or sounds.
  4. Extended. [Not in use.] Brown. Tonic spasm, in medicine, is a steady and continuous spastic contraction enduring for a comparatively long time. It is opposed to a clonic spasm, in which the muscular fibers contract and relax alternately in very quick succession, producing the appearance of agitation. In tonic spasms, however, there is always alternate contraction and relaxation. The spasms of tetanus are tonic.

TON'IC, n.

  1. A medicine that increases the strength and gives vigor of action to the system.
  2. In music, the key-note or principal sound which generates all the rest. [Fr. tonique.] Cyc.
  3. In music, a certain degree of tension, or the sound produced by a vocal string in a given degree of tension.

TO-NIGHT, n. [to and night.]

The present night, or the night after the present day.

TON'NAGE, n. [from ton, a corrupt orthography. See Tun.]

  1. The weight of goods carried in a boat or ship.
  2. The cubical content or burthen of a ship in tuns; or the amount of weight which she may carry.
  3. A duty or impost on ships, estimated per tun; or a duty, toll or rate payable on goods per tun, tranported on canals


That may be clipped. Mason

TON'SIL, n. [L. tonsillæ. This word seems to be formed from tonsus, tondeo, to clip.]

In anatomy, a glandular body in the throat or fauces. The tonsils are called also from their shape, amygdalæ, and in popular language, almonds. The tonsils have several excretory ducts opening into the mouth. Cyc. Hooper.

TON'SURE, n. [Fr. from L. tonsura, from tonsus, shaved; tondeo, to clip or shave.]

  1. The act of clipping the hair, or of shaving the head; the state of being shorn. Addison.
  2. In the Romish church, tonsure is the first ceremony uses for devoting a person to the service of God and the church; the first degree of the clericate, given by a bishop, who cuts off a part of his hair with prayers and benedictions. Hence tonsure is used to denote entrance or admission into holy orders. Cyc.
  3. In the Romish church, the corona or crown which priests wear as a mark of their order and of their rank in the church. Cyc.

TON-TINE, n. [Fr. tontine; said to be from its inventor, Tonti, an Italian.]

An annuity or survivorship; or a loan raised on life-annuities, with the benefit of survivorship. Thus an annuity is shared among a number, on the principle that the share of each, at his death, is enjoyed by the survivors, until at last the whole goes to the last survivor, or to the last two or three, according to the terms on which the money is advanced.

TO'NY, n.

A simpleton. [Ludicrous.] Dryden.

TOO, adv. [Sax. to.]

  1. Over; more than enough; noting excess; as, a thing is too long, too short, or too wide; too high; too many; too much. His will too strong to bend, too proud to learn. Cowley.
  2. Likewise; also; in addition. A courtier aad patriot too. Pope. Let those eyes that view / The daring crime, behold the vengeance too. Pope.
  3. Too, too, repeated, denotes excess emphatically; but this repetition is not in respectable use. [The original application of to, now too, seems to have been to a word signifying a great quantity; as, speaking or giving to much – that is, to a great amount. To was thus used by old authors.]

TOOK, v. [pret. of Take.]

Enoch was not, for God took him. Gen. v.

TOOL, n. [Sax. tol. Qu. Fr. outil. In old Law Latin, we find attile, attilia, stores, tools, implements. Qu. artillery, by corruption.]

  1. An instrument of manual operation, particularly such are used by farmers and mechanics; as, the tools of a joiner, cabinet-maker, smith or shoemaker.
  2. A person used as an instrument by another person; a word of reproach. Men of intrigue always have their tools, by whose agency they accomplish their purposes.

TOOL, v.t.

To shape with a tool. Entick.

TOOM, a.

Empty. [Not in use.] Wickliffe.

TOOT, v.i. [Sax. totian, to shoot, to project; D. toeten, to blow the horn; toet-horn, a bugle-horn; G. düten; Sw. tiuta. This word corresponds in elements with Gr. τιθημι, and W. dodi, to put, set, lay, give; L. do, dedi. The Saxon expresses the primary sense.]

  1. To stand out or be prominent. [Not in use.] Howell.
  2. To make a particular noise with the tongue articulating with the root of the upper teeth, at the beginning and end of the sound; also, to sound a horn in a particular manner. This writer should wear a tooting horn. Howell.
  3. To peep; to look narrowly. [Not in use, and probably a mistaken interpretation.] Spenser.