Definition of tongs in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɒŋz/

plural noun

(also a pair of tongs)
1An instrument with two movable arms that are joined at one end, used for picking up and holding things: sugar tongs
More example sentences
  • Once in the door you'll be straight over to the hearth, emptying ashes and raking dead coals, scooping up briquettes of turf with a pair of tongs and stacking them up.
  • I attacked the bowl of molluscs using a great technique I was once taught for eating mussels without cutlery, by using an empty shell as a finger-sized pair of tongs.
  • Hold them in a Bunsen burner flame with a pair of tongs.
2 short for curling tongs.
Example sentences
  • See, in order to get my fine, straight hair to even vaguely do the bouffant standing-up thing, Tony had had to go at me with hairdryer and tongs and more hairspray than you might see at the average Miss World contest.
  • Lock away heated styling accessories, such as tongs, straighteners and hair dryers, during the hot summer months.
  • Using hairdryers and ceramic straightening tongs needn't be serious, as long as you put the moisture back.


Old English tang(e) (singular), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tang and German Zange.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tongs

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