Meaning of tonic

ton•ic

Pronunciation: (ton'ik), [key]
— n.
  1. a medicine that invigorates or strengthens: a tonic of sulphur and molasses.
  2. anything invigorating physically, mentally, or morally: His cheerful greeting was a real tonic.
  3. See quinine water.
  4. the first degree of the scale; the keynote.
  5. soda pop.
  6. a tonic syllable or accent.
—adj.
  1. pertaining to, maintaining, increasing, or restoring the tone or health of the body or an organ, as a medicine.
  2. invigorating physically, mentally, or morally.
  3. a tonic spasm.
    1. pertaining to tension, as of the muscles.
    2. marked by continued muscular tension:a tonic spasm.
  4. using differences in tone or pitch to distinguish between words that are otherwise phonemically identical: a tonic language.
  5. pertaining to tone or accent in speech.
  6. (of a syllable) bearing the principal stress or accent, usually accompanied by a change in pitch.
  7. a tonic chord.
    1. of or pertaining to a tone or tones.
    2. pertaining to or founded on the keynote, or first tone, of a musical scale:a tonic chord.

-tonic

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a combining form occurring in adjectives that correspond to nouns ending in -tonia: catatonic.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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