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Definition of Tonic


  1. Characterized by continuous muscular contraction; as, tonic convulsions.
  2. Of or relating to tones or sounds; specifically (Phon.), applied to, or distingshing, a speech sound made with tone unmixed and undimmed by obstruction, such sounds, namely, the vowels and diphthongs, being so called by Dr. James Rush (1833) " from their forming the purest and most plastic material of intonation."
  3. Of or pertaining to tension; increasing tension; hence, increasing strength; as, tonic power.
  4. Increasing strength, or the tone of the animal system; obviating the effects of debility, and restoring healthy functions.
  5. A tonic element or letter; a vowel or a diphthong.
  6. The key tone, or first tone of any scale.
  7. A medicine that increases the strength, and gives vigor of action to the system.
More "Tonic" Quotations