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noun, plural: tongues

(anatomy) The flexible muscular organ situated in the floor of the oral cavity; it is primarily used as the main organ of taste, for moving food, in swallowing, in sound modification in speech, and for capturing food (i.e. in certain animals such as frogs)

(zoologty) Any analogous organ in certain invertebrates, such as the odontophore of a mollusk, the proboscis of a butterfly or moth, the lingua of an insect, etc.


The tongue is a muscular organ on the floor of the mouth. It is involved in gustation (tasting) through the taste buds, which are sensory end organs covering the surface of the tongue. Apart from this, the tongue also assists in mastication, formation of the bolus, swallowing, and capturing food. In humans, the tongue is also used in phonetic articulation.

Human tongue is comprised of intrinsic and extrinsic muscles. The extrinsic muscles are as follows: (1) genioglossus, (2) hyoglossus, (3) styloglossus, and (4) palatoglossus. The intrinsic muscles are (1) superior longitudinal muscle, (2) inferior longitudinal muscle, (3) vertical muscle, and (4) transverse muscle.

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