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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
tongs
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
curling tongs
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
hammer and tongs
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ All you need is a pair of hot tongs.
▪ I was dressed and out of the house in ten long minutes with gas-fuelled hair tongs in my hand.
▪ Place the exposed board into the tray of developer using plastic tweezers or tongs and agitate the board gently.
▪ Remove the lamb shanks with tongs, and when cool enough to handle, remove and shred the meat.
▪ The men steadying it took fright, threw down their long tongs, and fled.
▪ Then you can either blow dry or use heated rollers or tongs.
▪ Use tongs instead of a fork.
▪ Using a wide spatula and tongs, turn cake carefully.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Tongs

Tongs \Tongs\, n. pl. [OE. tonge, tange, AS. tange; akin to D. tang, G. zanga, OHG. zanga, Don. tang, Sw. t[*a]ng, Icel. t["o]ng, Gr. da`knein to bite, Skr. da[~n]i[,c], da[,c]. An instrument, usually of metal, consisting of two parts, or long shafts, jointed together at or near one end, or united by an elastic bow, used for handling things, especially hot coals or metals; -- often called a pair of tongs.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
tongs

Old English tange, tang "tongs, pincers, foreceps, instrument for holding and lifting," from Proto-Germanic *tango (cognates: Old Saxon tanga, Old Norse töng, Swedish tång, Old Frisian tange, Middle Dutch tanghe, Dutch tang, Old High German zanga, German Zange "tongs"), literally "that which bites," from PIE root *denk- "to bite" (cognates: Sanskrit dasati "biter;" Greek daknein "to bite," dax "biting"). For sense evolution, compare French mordache "tongs," from mordre "to bite."

Wiktionary
tongs

Etymology 1 n. 1 ((plural of tong English)Category:English plurals) An instrument or tool used for picking things up without touching them with the hands or fingers, consisting of two slats or grips hinged at the end or in the middle, and sometimes including a spring to open the grips. 2 (lb en by extension) ((plural of tong English)Category:English plurals) A large scissors-like two-piece center-hinged forged-iron implement with oval-loop handles and with pointed tips turned inward (in the same plane as and perpendicular to the handles) to facilitate lifting and carrying a block of ice. Often called ice tongs. vb. (en-third-person singular of: tong) Etymology 2

n. (plural of tong English)

WordNet
tongs

n. any of various devices for taking hold of objects; usually have two hinged legs with handles above and pointed hooks below [syn: pair of tongs]

Wikipedia
Tongs

Tongs are a tool used to grip and lift objects, of which there are many forms adapted to their specific use. Some are merely large pincers or nippers, but most fall into three classes:

  1. Tongs which have long arms terminating in small flat circular ends of tongs and are pivoted close to the handle, as in the common fire-tongs, used for picking up pieces of coal and placing them on a fire.
  2. Tongs consisting of a single band of metal bent round one or two bands joined at the head by a spring, as in sugar-tongs (a pair of usually silver tongs with claw-shaped or spoon-shaped ends for serving lump sugar), asparagus-tongs and the like.
  3. Tongs in which the pivot or joint is placed close to the gripping ends, such as a driller's round tongs, blacksmith's tongs or crucible-tongs.

Tongs are commonly used as a kitchen utensil, as they provide a way to move, rotate and turn the food with delicate precision.

According to Pirkei Avot, a classical Jewish text of the third century of the common era, the first pair of tongs were created by God right before God rested in the Seventh Day. The reasoning is that a blacksmith must use a pair of tongs in order to fashion a brand new pair of tongs. Accordingly, God must have provided humankind with the first pair of tongs.

Usage examples of "tongs".

Talbot handed him the sword and took a set of tongs the armorer held out.

I boarded the plane carrying several frying thermometers, which set off the metal detector, a few extra pairs of tongs, and a bag of chapati flour for making puffy pooris.

Your picks and hatchets and really big tongs, red knuckles and rimed windows and thin bitter freezer-smell with runny-nosed Poles in plaid coats and kalpacs, your older ones with a chronic cant to one side from all the time lugging ice.

Next Lache hastened in from the bar room, grabbed a pair of tongs from the wall and used them to snare the haunch of venison from the hook at the rear of the fireplace and dump it on a plank at the nearest table.

Ned and Saxby stood with Lobb watching men with tongs heating up a mast band in a rudimentary furnace before slipping it into place over the completed new mast, and while carpenters nearby shaped up the new yard, an excited seaman ran up from the jetty.

Nicolai jumped up and went to stand facing one of the muralled walls, as if compelled by the heroic figure of a muscular redheaded man holding up an ingot in a pair of tongs, staring at it with such unalloyed devotion, it might have been the sacred light of Mother Russia soon to become an axle joint.

Some of the hammers, like the straight and cross peen ones, I have already made for myself, and I have three sets of tongs.

There is a rapid thudding as sleepers are dropped and then a sound like something being sliced as girders unroll from a flatcar, crews Remade and whole picking them up with tongs, a baffling dainty motion, letting them down as sledge-wielding brawnies step in and timed as perfectly as an orchestra hammer the ties and rails.