tic

noun \ ˈtik \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of tic

1 : local and habitual spasmodic motion of particular muscles especially of the face : twitching
2 : a frequent usually unconscious quirk of behavior or speech
  • "you know" is a verbal tic

Examples of tic in a Sentence

  1. The verbal tic “you know” often occurs in her speech.

  2. constantly playing with her hair is one of her more annoying tics

Recent Examples of tic from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of tic

French


TIC Defined for English Language Learners

tic

noun

Definition of tic for English Language Learners

  • : a small repeated movement of a muscle especially in the face that cannot be controlled

  • : a word or phrase that someone frequently says or an action that someone frequently does without intending to


Medical Dictionary

tic

noun \ ˈtik \

medical Definition of tic

1 : local and habitual spasmodic motion of particular muscles especially of the face : twitching
2 : a habitual usually unconscious quirk of behavior or speech


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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