- tongue1 [ tʌŋ ] noun **▸ 1 organ in mouth▸ 2 language▸ 3 way of speaking/writing▸ 4 animal tongue as food▸ 5 long narrow piece▸ + PHRASES1. ) count the long soft piece of flesh attached to the bottom of your mouth that you use for tasting, speaking, etc.:I burned my tongue on the hot coffee.2. ) count MAINLY LITERARY a language:your native tongue: English was clearly not his native tongue.a foreign tongue: They were speaking in some foreign tongue.=> MOTHER TONGUE3. ) singular a particular way of speaking or writing:a sharp tongue (=a severe and unkind way of speaking to people): She has a very sharp tongue.a silver tongue (=an ability to talk well and persuade people): I hope you've not allowed yourself to be persuaded by Laura's silver tongue.4. ) count or uncount the tongue of an animal cooked and eaten as food5. ) count a long thin piece of material that lies under the part of a shoe or boot where you fasten ita ) tongue of MAINLY LITERARY something that looks like or moves like a tongue:a tongue of flame/fireb ) a long narrow piece of land that continues out into an ocean, lake, etc.bite your tongueto stop yourself from saying something that you would like to say because it will make someone upset or angryfind your tongueto start to be able to speak again after being too afraid or embarrassedget your tongue around something INFORMALto pronounce a difficult or strange word:I had trouble getting my tongue around some of their names.hold your tongue MAINLY LITERARY1. ) to say nothing, although you want to speak2. ) OLD-FASHIONED used for telling someone not to speakkeep a civil tongue in your head OLD-FASHIONEDused for telling someone not to be rudeloosen someone's tongueto make someone more willing to speak or give information:A few glasses of wine had loosened her tongue.lost your tongue?/(has the) cat got your tongue? SPOKENused for asking someone why they are not saying anything, especially because they usually say what they thinkroll/trip/slip off the tongueto be easy to pronouncea slip of the tonguean occasion when you say something that you do not mean to say, or when you fail to pronounce something correctlyspeak in tonguesto speak in a strange language that no one understands as a result of extreme religious excitementstick your tongue out (at someone)to move your tongue quickly out of your mouth as an insulttongues wagif tongues wag, people say unkind things about someonewatch your tongue SPOKENused for saying that someone is being rude and should not say any morewith (your) tongue in (your) cheekif you write or say something with tongue in cheek, you intend it to be humorous and do not mean it seriously=> GUARD 2, TIP1tonguetongue 2 [ tʌŋ ] verb1. ) intransitive or transitive to produce a musical note on a WIND INSTRUMENT by using your tongue to prevent air from flowing through it for a short time2. ) transitive to touch someone or something with your tongue, especially in order to make them sexually excited
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.