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  1. Pathology. lack of tone or energy; muscular weakness, especially in a contractile organ.
  2. Phonetics. lack of stress accent.
Also a·to·ni·a [uh-toh-nee-uh, ey-toh-] /əˈtoʊ ni ə, eɪˈtoʊ-/.

Origin of atony

1685–95; < Late Latin atonia < Greek, derivative of átonos unaccented, languid, literally, toneless. See a-6, tone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for atony


  1. pathol lack of normal tone or tension, as in muscles; abnormal relaxation of a muscle
  2. phonetics lack of stress or accent on a syllable or word

Word Origin

C17: from Latin atonia, from Greek: tonelessness, from atonos slack, from a- 1 + tonos tone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

atony in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A relaxed state of the arterial walls.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.