Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

tonic

play
adjective ton·ic \ˈtä-nik\

Definition of tonic

  1. 1a :  characterized by tonus <tonic contraction of muscle>; also :  marked by prolonged muscular contraction <tonic convulsions>b :  producing or adapted to produce healthy muscular condition and reaction of organs (as muscles)

  2. 2a :  increasing or restoring physical or mental tone :  refreshingb :  yielding a tonic substance

  3. 3 :  relating to or based on the first tone of a scale <tonic harmony>

  4. 4 of a syllable :  bearing a principal stress or accent

  5. 5 :  of or relating to speech tones or to languages using them to distinguish words otherwise identical

ton·i·cal·ly play \ˈtä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


Examples of tonic

  1. <breathe in clear tonic mountain air>

  2. <never underestimate the tonic power of humor on a sick person>



Origin of tonic

Greek tonikos, from tonos tension, tone


First Known Use: 1649

Rhymes with tonic


2

tonic

noun ton·ic

Simple Definition of tonic

  • : a type of water that has bubbles in it, has a bitter taste, and is often used in alcoholic drinks

  • : something that makes you feel healthier and more relaxed

  • : a medicine that brings you back to a normal physical or mental condition

Full Definition of tonic

  1. 1 :  the first tone of a major or minor scale :  keynote

  2. 2a :  an agent (as a drug) that increases body toneb :  one that invigorates, restores, refreshes, or stimulates <a day in the country was a tonic for him>c :  a liquid preparation for the scalp or haird chiefly New England :  a carbonated flavored beveragee :  tonic water

  3. 3 :  a voiced sound

1797

First Known Use of tonic

1797


TONIC Defined for Kids

tonic

play
noun ton·ic \ˈtä-nik\

Definition of tonic

  1. 1 :  a medicine or preparation for improving the strength or health of mind or body

  2. 2 :  soda pop Hint: This sense of tonic is used mostly in New England.

  3. 3 :  the first note of a scale





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tonic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet spindrift kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ