at·​o·​ny | \ ˈa-tə-nē How to pronounce atony (audio) \

Definition of atony

: lack of physiological tone especially of a contractile organ

Examples of atony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most common reason for postpartum hemorrhage is uterine atony, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "11 Health Conditions You Should Know About If You’re Black and Pregnant," 30 July 2019 Bleeding during or after childbirth: Uterine complications during or after childbirth, like when the organ doesn’t contract properly after the baby is out (this is known as uterine atony), can lead to severe hemorrhaging. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Lena Dunham Had a Total Hysterectomy to Treat Her Endometriosis," 14 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of atony

1693, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for atony

Late Latin atonia, from Greek, from atonos without tone, from a- + tonos tone

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atony

Time Traveler for atony

Time Traveler

The first known use of atony was in 1693

See more words from the same year

Statistics for atony

Cite this Entry

“Atony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for atony


at·​o·​ny | \ ˈat-ᵊn-ē How to pronounce atony (audio) \
variants: or atonia \ (ˈ)ā-​ˈtō-​nē-​ə How to pronounce atonia (audio) \
plural atonies or atonias

Medical Definition of atony

: lack of physiological tone especially of a contractile organ

Comments on atony

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!