tongue1 S3 W3
the soft part inside your mouth that you can move about and use for eating and speaking:
Joe ran his tongue over his dry lips.
The taste of the chocolate was still on her tongue.
The girl scowled at me, then stuck out her tongue.
to make a sharp noise with your tongue to show that you are annoyed or disappointed:
She clicked her tongue and shook her head.
if you have a sharp tongue, you often talk in a way that shows you are angry:
Gina's sharp tongue will get her into trouble one day.
if you have a silver tongue, you can talk in a way that makes people like you or persuades them that you are right
able to talk in a very angry or pleasant way:
a sharp-tongued young teacher
if you say something with your tongue in your cheek, you say it as a joke, not seriously ➔ tongue-in-cheek
a small mistake in something you say:
Did I say $100? It must have been a slip of the tongue.
to stop yourself saying something because you know it would not be sensible to say it:
I wanted to argue, but I had to bite my tongue.
9 also Lost your tongue? spoken
used to ask someone why they are not talking
to be able to say a difficult word or phrase:
I couldn't get my tongue around the names of the villages we'd visited.
if a name or phrase trips or rolls off your tongue, it is easy or pleasant to say:
Their names trip off the tongue very easily.
if something such as alcohol loosens your tongue, it makes you talk a lot:
The wine had certainly loosened her tongue.
to say something after you have been silent for a time because you were afraid or shy:
Polly found her tongue at last and told them about the attack.
to do something that people will talk about in an unkind way:
Angela's divorce will certainly set tongues wagging.
15 old-fashioned spoken
used to tell someone that they should talk politely to people
to say things that are not true - used humorously
to talk using strange words as part of a religious experience
Anton lapsed into his own tongue when he was excited.
mother/native tongue (=the language you learn as a child)
She felt more comfortable talking in her native tongue.
the tongue of a cow or sheep, cooked and eaten cold
something that has a long thin shape
Huge tongues of fire were licking the side of the building.
the part of a shoe that lies on top of your foot, under the part where you tie it