Middle English Dictionary Entry

tō̆nge n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A double-armed instrument, usually hinged, for manipulating objects too hot or too difficult to hold; a pincers, pliers, pair of tongs;—often pl.; also fig. and in fig. context; fir tonges; paire (of) tonges; (b) surg. & med. a forceps; a forceps shaped for specific uses: a pierced forceps for setting a drainage thread; a forceps for dilating an opening; also, a narrow forceps, ?tweezers; (c) a clipper, scissors; (d) a candle-snuffer; snitinge tonges; (e) tongs or pincers as an instrument of torture;—usu. the tongs or pincers used by the devils in hell or purgatory; also fig.; (f) the grasping apparatus of a type of block and tackle, a crampon; (g) ?a weeding tool, ?a bifurcated hoe.
(a) The portion of a knife blade that extends into the handle, the tang; (b) the fang of a serpent; the stinger of a bee or scorpion; also, the tongue of a demon conceived of as pronglike [quot. a1450]; (c) the pungency of a flavor; (d) ?a projection on an instrument; ?a fastener, prong; (e) a strip or thong on a cloth [may belong to, or be confused with, thong n.; cp. tong(e n.(2) 6.(e)].
In surname and place names [see Smith PNElem.2.176-7].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. tongs (pl.).