tonic

noun
ton·​ic | \ ˈtä-nik How to pronounce tonic (audio) \

Definition of tonic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 How to pronounce tonic (audio) \ 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 The premium light tonic is citrus forward with balanced quinine. Dallas News, "Hooked on tonics: How tonic water went from medicinal to trendy cocktail mixer," 28 Aug. 2020 For Democrats, but not only Democrats, the Biden era promises a tonic after four especially contentious and erratic years. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Live updates: At Joe Biden’s inauguration, mood is somber, jittery and joyous," 20 Jan. 2021 Current cocktail options include a Lemon Crackle gin and tonic kit made with chamomile and honeycomb, a five-citrus margarita, a honey lavender vodka soda, and a Coconutty Cooler made with coconut milk and rum. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "This Arizona mixology legend is opening a 'garden to glass' cocktail bar on Roosevelt Row," 13 Nov. 2020 An amalgam of nourishing ginger, lavender, rosemary, and black pepper essential oils, this magic tonic takes aches and pain to task beyond the bath—and feels like an extra layer of warmth underneath pajamas. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why a Hot Ginger Bath Is the Perfect Detox Ritual for Winter," 30 Dec. 2020 Matt Mitchell spin moves, Jordan Schakel jump shots, Nathan Mensah patrolling the paint, a fresh tonic as winter approached. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Amid the pain, 2020 reminded us that sports matter," 27 Dec. 2020 One post broke down the process of making a tonic for burnout. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, "Why are so many turning to Black herbalists? Their remedies are tailor-made for 2020," 4 Dec. 2020 And that tonic of a tone could be crucial to his agenda. Frank Bruni New York Times, Star Tribune, "The radical humility of Joe Biden," 10 Nov. 2020 The 4,100-square-foot Winter Park First Watch, which offers a menu of dishes including lemon ricotta pancakes and avocado toast, will also have an open-air bar where customers can order drinks such as mimosas or a vodka and kale tonic. Austin Fuller, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Prototype’ First Watch to-go restaurant to open in March across from Winter Park Trader Joe’s," 10 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bexar Tonics bottles a variety of tonic syrups flavored with quinine — the ingredient that gives tonic water its characteristic bitter bite — among other fruits, spices and botanicals that give each sip a distinctive South Texas flair. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio-made Bexar Tonics syrups give a puro San Antonio flair to cocktails," 15 Dec. 2020 Bexar Tonics bottles a variety of tonic syrups flavored with quinine, among other fruits, spices and botanicals that give each sip a distinctive South Texas flair. ExpressNews.com, "Express Briefing: Family sues over jail death of mentally ill S.A. man who lost 104 pounds," 17 Dec. 2020 Ghia’s satisfyingly bitter, nonalcoholic apéritif is delicious with tonic or mixed into a cocktail—virgin or otherwise. Mackenzie Chung Fegan, Bon Appétit, "Gifts Under $35 for Your Neighbor, Your Mailman, and the Urban Homesteader in Your Life," 17 Nov. 2020 Authors Frédéric Du Bois and Isabel Boons delve into which tonic mixes best with which gin, which garnish is most suitable, and explain the history of this classic cocktail. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "14 Cocktail Books to Improve Your Bartending Skills," 13 Oct. 2020 Dominant and tonic chords (aka V and I chords) are the most common in classical music, playing a vital role in musical phraseology, and there are many variants within those two broad classifications. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Roll over, Beethoven: Decoding the maestro’s musical style with statistics," 3 Aug. 2019 And even the tonic side of the equation is seeing innovation. John Kell, Fortune, "Gin Sales Are Booming and It Could Be Thanks to the Growing Plant Craze," 22 June 2019 Assuming a lifeless-looking, immobile state in an effort to discourage or ambush a predator is known as tonic immobility, death feigning, or thanatosis. Patricia Edmonds, National Geographic, "Why this insect fakes death to avoid sex," 17 June 2019 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

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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Learn More about tonic

Statistics for tonic

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonic. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 How to pronounce tonic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tonic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tonic (audio) \ adverb

tonic

noun

Medical Definition of tonic (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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