Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[ton-teen, ton-teen] /ˈtɒn tin, tɒnˈtin/
an annuity scheme in which subscribers share a common fund with the benefit of survivorship, the survivors' shares being increased as the subscribers die, until the whole goes to the last survivor.
the annuity shared.
the share of each subscriber.
the number of subscribers.
any of various forms of life insurance in which the chief beneficiaries are those whose policies are in force at the end of a specified period (tontine period)
Origin of tontine
1755-65; < French; named after Lorenzo Tonti, Neapolitan banker who started the scheme in France about 1653. See -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tontine
Historical Examples
  • He should lose the tontine, and with that the last hope of his seven thousand eight hundred pounds.

    The Wrong Box Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne
  • When it was discovered that Loka was nowhere in the immediate vicinity, tontine was furious.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
  • The suspense over, tontine began to cry; that followed naturally, of course.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
  • They were to shut the gates of the tontine, and barricade them with the coaches.

  • And he thrust the paper back at Jacob Dolph, and made for the tontine and the society of sensible men.

    The Story of a New York House Henry Cuyler Bunner
  • tontine in the French finances, what, with the derivation of the name, 390.

  • We've started a Nirvana Club in our neighbourhood on the tontine principle.

  • I have not only not gained the tontine—I have lost the leather business!'

    The Wrong Box Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne
  • tontine began to grumble at once when she discovered that Loka was not at hand to receive them on their return.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
  • "I'll saddle the hoss an' go see, tontine," interposed Baptiste, who was beginning to share his wife's uneasiness.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
British Dictionary definitions for tontine


/ˈtɒntiːn; tɒnˈtiːn/
  1. an annuity scheme by which several subscribers accumulate and invest a common fund out of which they receive an annuity that increases as subscribers die until the last survivor takes the whole
  2. the subscribers to such a scheme collectively
  3. the share of each subscriber
  4. the common fund accumulated
  5. (as modifier): a tontine fund
a system of mutual life assurance by which benefits are received by those participants who survive and maintain their policies throughout a stipulated period (the tontine period)
Word Origin
C18: from French, named after Lorenzo Tonti, Neapolitan banker who devised the scheme
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tontine

1765, from French tontine, named for Lorenzo Tonti, Neapolitan banker who in 1653 first proposed this method of raising money.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tontine

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tontine

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tontine