Definition of Tongan in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtɒŋɡ(ə)n//ˈtɒŋən/


  • Relating to Tonga or its people or language.

    • ‘The biweekly newspaper which gathers stories from Tongan communities in Australia, New Zealand and the United States as well as in Tonga, has seen its share of harassment.’
    • ‘Most people preferred English as the medium of expression as it conveyed for them better than the Tongan language the frequently painful and mixed emotions they felt about their cultural identity.’
    • ‘Born of a Tongan mother and Australian father, Vika and Linda grew up in Victoria but maintained close links to the Tongan community.’
    • ‘They own Tongan telecommunications, electricity and insurance companies and a good chunk of the Kingdom's real estate.’
    • ‘Tim Lehâ is 26-years-old, of Kamilaroi and Tongan heritage.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Tonga.

    • ‘In addition, Tongans, Tahitians and, Fijians participate in the Pacific Islander Festival, a weekend event held annually in Southern California since 1990.’
    • ‘Another 100,000 Tongans live overseas, mostly in Australia, New Zealand / Aotearoa and the US.’
    • ‘Last year, a number of Samoans, Fijians and Tongans who were playing for New Zealand provinces were told that, if they went to the World Cup, they would lose their day jobs.’
    • ‘Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand include Cook Islanders, Samoans, Tongans, Tokelauans, Fijians, and Nieueans.’
    • ‘In the 1970s, some prickly US libertarians set up a republic on an oil platform near Tonga but were so obnoxious the Tongans captured them with a war canoes until the US government ransomed them.’
  • 2mass noun The Polynesian language spoken in Tonga.

    • ‘However, Tongan is the language commonly spoken in the streets, shops, markets, schools, offices, and churches.’
    • ‘The ‘Uvean language is a Western Polynesian language closely related to Tongan.’
    • ‘With such other languages as Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongan, it is a member of the Polynesian branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family.’
    • ‘Linguistically, Tongan is related to Samoan and other Polynesian languages.’
    • ‘Right out in the Pacific, there is much less linguistic diversity than in Melanesia: Samoan has almost half a million speakers and Tongan over 100,000.’