(in the US) a Chinese association or secret society, frequently associated with organized crime.[as modifier] ‘the tong wars in Chinatown’
- ‘The struggle for control of these illicit businesses also gave rise to frequent intrigues, violence, and political corruption and to sensational press coverage of the so-called tong wars.’
- ‘I guess what I'm saying is we can complain all we want about the tong culture and how the rule of law can be a joke in this country, but we have to start somewhere if we want to fix things.’
Late 19th century: from Chinese ( Cantonese dialect) t'ōng, literally meeting place.
1Curl (hair) using tongs.‘hair has been tonged at the ends for this great look’
crimp, wave, tongView synonyms
- ‘The stylist suggests tonging the front section into a large wave before pinning it to the head.’
2Collect (oysters) using oyster tongs.‘Hank still finds time to tong oysters in winter’