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 tonically (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

Lavender from the garden infuses the gin in the Dark Knight cocktail (the gin is barrel rested and mixed with fresh lime, black currant syrup and tonic). Sherry Stern, Orange County Register, "Great Escape: It’s always inn season at Rancho Bernardo," 14 June 2019 The Slow is a shady café with concrete floors and Nakashima-style wooden tables serving fresh juices and tonics alongside small plates of veg-forward cuisine in the boutique hotel by the same name. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 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. Author: Simon Denyer, Anchorage Daily News, "From hemorrhoids to hangovers: Bear bile is treasured in China, and that’s bad for captive bears," 3 June 2018 Plants such as Balm of Gilead in its Empress oil and tonic, as well as a traditional Chinese bian stone tool, help clients sculpt and lift to reap rewards naturally. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "Women Are Giving Up Botox for Facial Massage," 23 May 2019 Norfolk also will discuss how the different gins work in classic cocktails, and a variety of new tonics will be on hand. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Classes on Chardonnay, gin coming up at Ray's," 12 June 2018 In lieu of sipping your gin and tonic with plastic straws, use these Stainless Steel Straws endorsed by Mother Nature herself instead. Popular Mechanics, "Ditch Plastic And Sip Your Drinks With These Planet-Friendly Metal Straws," 18 Apr. 2019 After running the gauntlet of their indifference, Rogers’s concern and his eagerness to engage me was a real tonic. Adam Eisenstat, Vox, "Mr. Rogers was my actual neighbor. He was everything he was on TV and more.," 26 July 2018 Marcy stresses that this isn’t a typical gin intended to be smothered with tonic; the flavors are too delicate to survive mouth-puckering quinine neat. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Come to Kyoto for the Sake, Stay for the Gin," 17 Aug. 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

18 Jun 2019

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 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 tonically (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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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

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