at·​o·​ny ˈa-tə-nē How to pronounce atony (audio)
: 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, 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, 14 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'atony.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1693, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of atony was in 1693

Dictionary Entries Near atony

Cite this Entry

“Atony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


at·​o·​ny ˈat-ᵊn-ē How to pronounce atony (audio)
variants or atonia
plural atonies or atonias
: lack of physiological tone especially of a contractile organ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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