tongueless, adj.tonguelike, adj.
/tung/, n., v. tongued, tonguing.
1. Anat. the usually movable organ in the floor of the mouth in humans and most vertebrates, functioning in eating, in tasting, and, in humans, in speaking. See diag. under mouth.
2. Zool. an analogous organ in invertebrate animals.
3. the tongue of an animal, as an ox, beef, or sheep, used for food, often prepared by smoking or pickling.
4. the human tongue as the organ of speech: No tongue must ever tell the secret.
5. the faculty or power of speech: a sight no tongue can describe.
6. speech or talk, esp. mere glib or empty talk.
7. manner or character of speech: a flattering tongue.
8. the language of a particular people, region, or nation: the Hebrew tongue.
9. a dialect.
10. (in the Bible) a people or nation distinguished by its language.
11. tongues, speech, often incomprehensible, typically uttered during moments of religious ecstasy. Cf. speaking in tongues, glossolalia.
12. an object that resembles an animal's tongue in shape, position, or function.
13. a strip of leather or other material under the lacing or fastening of a shoe.
14. a piece of metal suspended inside a bell that strikes against the side producing a sound; clapper.
15. a vibrating reed or similar structure in a musical instrument, as in a clarinet, or in part of a musical instrument, as in an organ reed pipe.
16. the pole extending from a carriage or other vehicle between the animals drawing it.
17. a projecting strip along the center of the edge or end of a board, for fitting into a groove in another board.
18. a narrow strip of land extending into a body of water; cape.
19. a section of ice projecting outward from the submerged part of an iceberg.
20. Mach. a long, narrow projection on a machine.
21. that part of a railroad switch that is shifted to direct the wheels of a locomotive or car to one or the other track of a railroad.
22. the pin of a buckle, brooch, etc.
23. find one's tongue, to regain one's powers of speech; recover one's poise: She wanted to say something, but couldn't find her tongue.
24. give tongue,
a. Fox Hunting. (of a hound) to bay while following a scent.
b. to utter one's thoughts; speak: He wouldn't give tongue to his suspicions.
25. hold one's tongue, to refrain from or cease speaking; keep silent.
26. lose one's tongue, to lose the power of speech, esp. temporarily.
27. on the tip of one's (or the) tongue,
a. on the verge of being uttered.
b. unable to be recalled; barely escaping one's memory: The answer was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't think of it.
28. slip of the tongue, a mistake in speaking, as an inadvertent remark.
29. (with) tongue in cheek, ironically or mockingly; insincerely.
30. to articulate (tones played on a clarinet, trumpet, etc.) by strokes of the tongue.
31. Carpentry.
a. to cut a tongue on (a board).
b. to join or fit together by a tongue-and-groove joint.
32. to touch with the tongue.
33. to articulate or pronounce.
34. Archaic.
a. to reproach or scold.
b. to speak or utter.
35. to tongue tones played on a clarinet, trumpet, etc.
36. to talk, esp. idly or foolishly; chatter; prate.
37. to project like a tongue.
[bef. 900; (n.) ME tunge, OE; c. D tong, G Zunge, ON tunga, Goth tuggo; akin to L lingua (OL dingua); (v.) ME tungen to scold, deriv. of the n.]

* * *

Muscular organ on the floor of the mouth.

It is important in motions of eating, drinking, and swallowing, and its complex movements shape the sounds of speech. Its top surface consists of thousands of raised projections (papillae). The receptors of taste (taste buds) are embedded in the papillae and are sensitive to four basic flavours: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. More specific flavours are influenced by the sense of smell. The tongue's appearance (e.g., coated or red) can give clues to disease elsewhere. Disorders of the tongue include cancer (often caused by smokeless tobacco), leukoplakia (white patches), fungal infection, and congenital disorders. Different animals use the tongue to serve varied functions; for example, frogs have an elongated tongue adapted to capturing prey, the snake's tongue collects and transfers odours to a specialized sensory structure to help locate prey, and cats use their tongues for grooming and cleaning.

* * *

      in most vertebrates, an organ, capable of various muscular movements, located on the floor of the mouth. In some animals (e.g., frogs) it is elongated and adapted to capturing insect prey. The tongues of certain reptiles function primarily as sensory organs, whereas cats and some other mammals use their tongues as instruments for grooming and cleaning. In mammals the tongue aids in creating negative pressure within the oral cavity that enables sucking, and it is an important accessory organ in chewing and swallowing; it is also a major bearer of taste buds and, in humans, an aid to speech.

 The mammalian tongue consists of a mass of interwoven, striated muscles interspaced with glands and fat and covered with mucous membrane. In humans the front tips and margins of the tongue usually touch the teeth, aiding in swallowing and speech. The top surface, or dorsum, contains numerous projections of the mucous membrane called papillae. They contain taste buds (taste bud), which are sensitive to chemical constituents of food, and serous glands that secrete some of the fluid in saliva, a substance that moistens the oral cavity and helps lubricate food particles. The base, or upper rear portion, of the tongue has no papillae, but aggregated lymphatic tissue (lingual tonsils) and serous and mucus-secreting glands are present. The inferior, or under, surface leads from the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth; its mucous membrane is smooth, devoid of papillae, and purple in colour from the many blood vessels present. The root, the remainder of the underside that lies on the mouth's floor, contains bundles of nerves, arteries, and muscles that branch to the other tongue regions.

      An important function of the tongue is taste sensation, which is derived from taste receptor cells located in clusters within taste buds on the surface of the tongue. In humans there may be anywhere from 50 to 150 taste receptor cells within an individual taste bud. Taste buds are innervated by nerves that respond to chemicals from food in solution, thereby providing the sensation of taste. There are five fundamental taste sensations: salty, sweet, sour (acid), bitter, and umami, which represents the taste of amino acids (amino acid). Each receptor cell is sensitive to a particular taste—for example, responding only to salt or only to umami. The total flavour of a food comes from the combination of taste, smell, touch, texture or consistency, and temperature sensations. Small taste buds situated on the tongue's top surface transmit these flavour sensations to the nervous system.

      Among the disorders to which the tongue is subject are cancer, leukoplakia (white patches), fungus infection, congenital defects, and a variety of symptoms caused by disease elsewhere in the body. Surgical removal of this organ makes speech and swallowing difficult.

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Universalium. 2010.

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