1

tonic

noun ton·ic \ ˈtä-nik \

Definition of tonic

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

Recent Examples of tonic from the Web

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.

First Known Use of tonic

1797


2

tonic

adjective

Definition of tonic

1 a :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)
2 a :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

tonically

play \ˈtä-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of tonic in a Sentence

  1. breathe in clear tonic mountain air

  2. never underestimate the tonic power of humor on a sick person

Recent Examples of tonic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tonic

Greek tonikos, from tonos tension, tone


TONIC Defined for English Language Learners

tonic

noun

Definition of tonic for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

tonic

noun ton·ic \ ˈtä-nik \

Definition of tonic for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

1

tonic

adjective ton·ic \ ˈtän-ik \

medical Definition of tonic

1 a :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)
2 a :increasing or restoring physical or mental tone
b :yielding a tonic substance

tonically

play \ˈtän-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

tonic

noun

medical Definition of tonic

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tonic? 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

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
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!