tonic

noun
ton·​ic | \ˈtä-nik \

Definition of tonic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : tonic water

b : an agent (such as a drug) that increases body tone

c : one that invigorates, restores, refreshes, or stimulates a day in the country was a tonic for him

d : a liquid preparation for the scalp or hair

e chiefly New England : a carbonated flavored beverage

2 : the first tone of a major or minor scale : keynote

3 : a voiced sound

tonic

adjective

Definition of tonic (Entry 2 of 2)

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 (such as muscles)

2a : increasing or restoring physical or mental tone : refreshing

b : yielding a tonic substance

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

4 of a syllable : bearing a principal stress or accent

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

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Other Words from tonic

Adjective

tonically \ˈtä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of tonic in a Sentence

Adjective

breathe in clear tonic mountain air never underestimate the tonic power of humor on a sick person

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In place of traditional emollients, Pixi's liquid tonic relies on moisturizing jasmine flower extract and hydrating glycerin to keep skin balanced. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Pixi by Petra Launches the First-Ever Retinol Tonic," 19 July 2018 That’s Interesting Ice is out and tonic is in on the Philly summer craft coffee scene. Oona Goodin-smith, Philly.com, "Making the most of your Memorial Day weekend, court upholds transgender student rights| Morning Newsletter," 25 May 2018 Dirty Lemon x Vogue tonics are available in packs of six for $55, with the option to add a yearlong Vogue subscription for $65, dirtylemon.com. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "These Dirty Lemon x Vogue Detox Tonics Are an Immune-Boosting Antioxidant Dream," 27 Apr. 2018 Believed by Native Americans to have healing powers, our springs were once part of a 19th-century health spa, attracting Manhattanites who traveled here to rusticate and take in the waters as a tonic for city life. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Mysteries of Gin Revealed," 10 Aug. 2018 There are new cocktails, too, including a tropical tonic of gin, passion fruit, pineapple juice and lime with mango-flavored chewy tapioca balls, otherwise known as boba. Celestina Blok, star-telegram, "Restaurant roundup: Bartaco in WestBend, Newk's up north and deals for Dad's day," 6 June 2018 And the answer seems to be that childlike voices will serve as a tonic to adult despair and anxiety. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "'Red Bike' by Simpatico Theatre: Dreary outlook, tedious play," 11 June 2018 But in recent years, it has also been used as an (ineffective) cancer cure or as a general tonic — a draft of rice wine mixed with bear bile, or steeped in a bear’s paw, might stave off a hangover, some say. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "China’s bear bile industry persists despite growing awareness of the cruelty involved," 3 June 2018 James Pimm, a farmer's son who owned an oyster bar in 19th-century London, created it and offered his guests the secret mix of gin, quinine, and a spice blend as a tonic to aid digestion. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "How To Make A Pimm's Cup," 2 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While tonic water and club soda are better suited to cocktails, sparkling or seltzer water makes a refreshing sip on its own. Jolene Thym, The Mercury News, "Taste-Off: The best flavored seltzers — and the duds," 13 Feb. 2017 The Tonic Tavern: Third Coast Blues with Alex & Marc Wilson and Andrew & Kurt Koenig, 4-7 p.m. July 2, 2335 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Your weekly entertainment calendar, June 30-July 6," 29 June 2017

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

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First Known Use of tonic

Noun

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for tonic

Adjective

Greek tonikos, from tonos tension, tone

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Dictionary Entries near tonic

tonguey

tonguiness

-tonia

tonic

tonic accent

tonical

tonicity

Statistics for tonic

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tonic

The first known use of tonic was in 1649

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More Definitions for tonic

tonic

noun

English Language Learners 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

tonic

noun
ton·​ic | \ˈtä-nik \

Kids Definition of tonic

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

2 : soda pop

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

3 : the first note of a scale

tonic

adjective
ton·​ic | \ˈtän-ik \

Medical Definition of tonic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : characterized by tonus tonic contraction of muscle also : marked by or being prolonged muscular contraction tonic convulsions

b : producing or adapted to produce healthy muscular condition and reaction of organs (as muscles)

2a : increasing or restoring physical or mental tone

b : yielding a tonic substance

Other Words from tonic

tonically \ˈtän-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

tonic

noun

Medical Definition of tonic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an agent (as a drug) that increases body tone

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More from Merriam-Webster on tonic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tonic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tonic

Spanish Central: Translation of tonic

Nglish: Translation of tonic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tonic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tonic

Comments on tonic

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