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

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 That could be just the tonic for critics of a self-regulatory approach—depending on the details. Darius Tahir, Fortune, 18 May 2022 Their list of brunch bevvies includes the standards and some creative additions, like the Champagne julep made with mint, strawberry, elderflower, cognac and bubbles; and the spumoni (rum, melon, grapefruit and tonic). Rebecca Treon, Chron, 2 May 2022 Rest has become a tonic rather than a sign of weakness. Isabel B. Slone, Town & Country, 2 May 2022 Whatever the tonic on offer, expect magic at these 10 spots around the world — no pinot grigio required. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2022 The student, Daniel Rolander, may have learned about the tonic and Kwasi the year before when he was being celebrated and living as a free man. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz, 25 Jan. 2022 The result is an exceptionally flavorful gin, which combined with its higher proof, makes an exceptional gin and tonic or gin martini. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Şahin’s friend said that the beauty of a gin-and-tonic lay precisely in its simplicity. Elif Batuman, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 The progression dances around that tonic, but in skipping past it, creates a tension that never fully resolves. Tom Roland, Billboard, 5 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Guests would take the service elevator to the spa area, where Turkish-style shampoos and showers or a tonic bath cost $1.50 (roughly $25 today). Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2022 And sure enough, his muscular, lucid prose had a tonic effect, giving me encouragement if not wisdom. John R. Macarthur, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 Keep in mind that the period after a tonic-clonic seizure can be nearly as intense for someone as the seizure itself. Patti Greco, Health.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Luhan’s faith in the tonic properties of indigenous life. Rebecca Panovka, The New Yorker, 2 June 2021 Make the tonic syrup by simmering all ingredients (except sugar) in a saucepan on low for 30 minutes; strain. Megan Murphy, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 17 Nov. 2020 See More

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

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

Learn More About tonic

Dictionary Entries Near tonic

-tonia

tonic

tonic accent

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tonic

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonic. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tonic

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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