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 Almost all of the food is grown in the five-acre organic garden, from the strawberries served at breakfast to the limes in the gin and tonics. Peter Terzian, Travel + Leisure, "In Kenya, an Epic Photographic Safari Through Some of Africa's Most Dramatic Landscapes," 18 Apr. 2020 Expect lots of craft cocktails and Spanish gin and tonics. Tina Danze, Dallas News, "Spain’s legendary Enrique Tomás restaurant and store opening Feb. 12 in Dallas," 7 Feb. 2020 Somehow, though, the most impressive foods are the most elementary: the gazpacho that shimmers with olive oil and sherry vinegar; the thick, dark hot chocolate that comes with churros just out of the fryer; the goblets of gin and tonics. Pete Wells, New York Times, "New York’s Top 10 New Restaurants of 2019," 10 Dec. 2019 Start with one of the four gin and tonics — great after a long day in the heat. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "One Day, One Place: Sacramento," 22 Aug. 2019 My nightly tonic now consists of 1tsp of the power mixed with a drizzle of Manuka honey and warm oat milk about an hour before bed. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "The 5-Minute Routine I Do Nightly for Better Sleep," 4 Apr. 2020 Suddenly sleep became a tonic: an Alzheimer’s wonder drug available, for free, every evening. Wired, "Stop Obsessing Over Sleep—Your Brain Will Thank You," 1 Dec. 2019 John Lottes drank a gin and tonic, while the host poured a glass of rosé in his kitchen. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "You don't have to wear pants to have a virtual party, but you should (and other tips for hosting)," 24 Mar. 2020 Grab a gin and tonic and settle in for a stunning sunset between palm trees. Shannon Sims, New York Times, "36 Hours in Aruba," 12 Mar. 2020 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

6 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonic. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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