A country in the South Pacific consisting of an island group south-east of Fiji; population 120,900 (est. 2009); official languages, Tongan and English; capital, Nuku'alofa.Also called the Friendly Islands
1A member of any of three peoples of southern Africa, living mainly in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique respectively.
- ‘If a Tonga, for instance, was to come to power, it could mean all the other Tongas in the country aligning themselves to him.’
- ‘From time immemorial, Tongas have viewed cattle rearing as their only source of wealth and in the past it was difficult for them to imagine that their valuable domestic animal would vanish through uncontrolled circumstances.’
- ‘It is unreasonable for one to still think that they would find Arab merchants and Tongas engaged in the barter system of trade in ivory, salt, copper ornaments and other goods today.’
- ‘The Tonga live in southern Zambia along the Zambezi River.’
- ‘Those were the years when rich Tongas boasted of owning hundreds of cattle.’
2[mass noun] Any of the three different Bantu languages spoken by the Tonga.
- ‘In Southern Province, the community media are using Tonga whereas the community media in Northern Province uses Bemba.’
- ‘Other languages spoken in Zimbabwe are Tonga, Shangaan, and Venda.’
Relating to the Tonga or their languages.
- ‘The Tonga women of the Zambezi River Valley very often combined the three colors white, blue, and red in their unique beadwork.’
- ‘The Tonga people have been renowned for their love for cattle over the centuries.’
- ‘Earlier last year there had been a small outbreak in the Tonga region when 22 people contracted the disease after major flooding in Mozambique in February.’
- ‘Stilt houses are unique to the Tonga people, and hill homesteads are found in the Zambezi River flood plains.’
- ‘The seventh Tonga Music Festival aimed at promoting the Tonga culture through music needs an estimated K40 million to successfully host the annual event.’
A light horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle used in India.
- ‘From there you take a bone-shaking bumpy ride in a tonga to Bisola.’
- ‘When he lived in Lahore, he wore the latest suits and drove the finest tongas.’
- ‘A horse-drawn tonga keeps stately pace with the latest Mercedes, jostled by cycles and bikes.’
- ‘Once the tonga was the most cherished vehicle of the city's elite and the common people alike.’
- ‘There are people astride camels and horses, and some ensconced within tongas and bullock carts for fun-filled rides.’
From Hindi tā̃̄gā.