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 Sample local craft beer, wine as well as gin and tonic. 10. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "12 cool ways to spend a long weekend in Amsterdam – not counting the Red Light District," 31 Dec. 2019 There were moments during the exhibition season that suggested Chase Center can sound just as loud as Oracle, surely a soothing tonic for management. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors debut at Chase Center: What will it mean for fans?," 24 Oct. 2019 The Enquirer sent me — a trending news reporter who enjoys drinking gin and tonic but will occasionally try some craft beers — and Phil Didion, Enquirer video editor and a home-brewer, to see what all the hype was about. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "Sam Adams releases 28% Utopias beer: 'Treat it like a fine cognac'," 15 Nov. 2019 Beyond pushing the gin and tonic, Diageo’s own answer to these trends is its range of Ketel Botanicals, released last year. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "As Aperol spritz fatigue sets in, the fight to sell the next big drink is already underway," 30 Oct. 2019 With its tropical climate, India is best suited for cooler spirits like gin and tonic. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "New-age distillers are nudging Indians to uncork their very own “gin from the bottle”," 8 Aug. 2019 That is why, a century after Schweppes’s innovation, to quaff a gin-and-tonic on a summer’s day, in the well-to-do shires of England, was no less nostalgic than refreshing. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Intoxicating History of Gin," 2 Dec. 2019 The bar continues the New England summer theme, with easy-drinking spritzes ($10) going beyond traditional Aperol with sake and sherry, and tonics ($12 and $13) with gin, mezcal and white rum. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Tyler Anderson moves into New Haven, manning not one, but two restaurants at The Blake Hotel," 9 Sep. 2019 The piney, vegetal drink’s popularity got another boost in 1840, when the monks introduced yellow chartreuse, a milder tonic with notes of saffron and chamomile. New York Times, "Jell-O as Art, Apocalypse-Ready Clothing and More," 30 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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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Time Traveler for tonic

Time Traveler

The first known use of tonic was in 1649

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Statistics for tonic

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tonic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonic. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tonic

tonic

noun
How to pronounce tonic (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tonic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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