Main definitions of tong in English

: tong1tong2

tong1

noun

  • (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.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from Chinese ( Cantonese dialect) t'ōng, literally meeting place.

Pronunciation:

tong

/tɒŋ/

Main definitions of tong in English

: tong1tong2

tong2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Curl (hair) using tongs.

    ‘hair has been tonged at the ends for this great look’
    • ‘The stylist suggests tonging the front section into a large wave before pinning it to the head.’
    crimp, wave, tong
    View synonyms
  • 2Collect (oysters) using oyster tongs.

    ‘Hank still finds time to tong oysters in winter’

Pronunciation:

tong

/tɒŋ/