- pertaining to tension, as of the muscles.
- marked by continued muscular tension: a tonic spasm.
- tongues wag,
- tonguing-and-grooving plane,
- tonic accent,
- tonic contraction,
- tonic convulsion,
- tonic epilepsy,
- tonic pupil
Origin of tonic
Regional variation note
Origin of -tonic
Examples from the Web for tonic
For Feiffer, the cold isolation of the upstate New York retreat worked like a tonic.
Unfortunately, the four-time NBA All-Star was tragically known for his unofficial nickname: Vin and Tonic.
And so Europeans sweetened it, giving us so-called tonic water, the “tonic” being the antidote to malaria.
(Tonic water made today still notes “contains quinine” on the label).
The good news is that the departure of Berlusconi could be a tonic that awakens Italy from a stupor of lassitude and indifference.Italy's Troubles Are Not the Tipping Point for Global Economic Collapse|Zachary Karabell|November 10, 2011|DAILY BEAST
The fresh air and the beauty of the country acted like a tonic upon us.In Hostile Red|Joseph Altsheler
With its rarely fine atmosphere, so tonic and bracing, so free from the depressing fog of the North, it is a great sanitarium.
The downland air was as a tonic wine to every creature that breathed it.Jan|A. J. Dawson
His apprehensions had all vanished under the stimulus of that tonic atmosphere.The Secret Trails|Charles G. D. Roberts
In the one form the tonic chord was natural, that is to say, major.
- the first degree of a major or minor scale and the tonal centre of a piece composed in a particular key
- a key or chord based on this
Word Origin for tonic
1640s, "relating to or characterized by muscular tension," from Greek tonikos "of stretching," from tonos "a stretching" (see tenet). The meaning "maintaining the healthy firmness of tissues" is recorded from 1680s, first extended 1756 to "having the property of restoring to health."
"a tonic medicine," 1799, from tonic (adj.).