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

The capex boom could be a tonic for a stock-market lull that has kept the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in a narrow range for months, and offer a further boost to corporate earnings. Chelsey Dulaney, WSJ, "Capital Spending Boom Is No Great Boost to Capital Markets," 15 May 2018 Elsewhere, Elle Fanning in Valentino Haute Couture was one of those princess moments that make fashion seem magical and optimistic, a tonic for troubled times. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of February 19, 2018," 19 Feb. 2018 So how best to judge whether the merger is a competition-crusher, or a tonic for competition? Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Is Trump's Antitrust Policy Pro-U.S. Business? A New FTC Action Casts Doubt," 31 Jan. 2018 James suggests the tonic brand Small Hands, and Lingua uses La Croix sparkling water for mocktails at home. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Mocktail recipes: How to make tasty non-alcoholic drinks for your Fourth of July party," 3 July 2018 Try it with tonic and lime, or with a splash of grapefruit liqueur. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Add Fire to Your Fourth of July Cocktail," 2 July 2018 Our countless beautiful sunsets, so there is always an excuse to have a sundowner, our classic gin and tonic cocktail. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Kenyan Cool Girl’s Guide to Nairobi," 2 July 2018 Paul MacDonald, head bartender of Friday Saturday Sunday, said a popular low-alcohol drink during warmer months is a Shim and Tonic, made with Manzanilla sherry, Amaro Montenegro, lemon, and grapefruit, then finished with Fever-Tree tonic. Allison Steele, Philly.com, "Cocktails for all-day (and all-night) drinking sessions," 23 May 2018 Affirmative consent should be the norm, Leijonhufvud said, because scientific studies have revealed that many rape victims experience a temporary state of paralysis called tonic immobility. Lisa Rose, CNN, "Sexual consent is a worldwide conversation," 4 Apr. 2018

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

8 Oct 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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Comments on tonic

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