• WordNet 3.6
    • n tonicity the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli "the doctor tested my tonicity"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When it originally appeared in 1886 - Coca Cola was billed as an "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage".
    • n Tonicity (Physiol) The state of healthy tension or partial contraction of muscle fibers while at rest; tone; tonus.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tonicity In zoology, occasionally employed to denote the quality of dead, as well as living, tissue.
    • n tonicity Tone; the state or property of possessing tone or of being tonic; specifically, in physiol; the elasticity of living parts—a property of the muscles which is distinct from true irritability, and determines the general tone of the solids. In virtue of this power the dilators of the larynx keep this organ open, the face is kept symmetrical, the sphincters are kept closed, etc.
    • n tonicity In music. See the quotation.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tonicity the healthy state of muscular fibres when at rest
    • ***


  • Sir Walter Scott
    “Adversity is, to me at least, a tonic and a bracer.”
  • B. C. Forbes
    “Difficulties should act as a tonic. They should spur us to greater exertion.”
  • Orison Swett Marden
    “If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place.”
  • Orison Swett Marden
    “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
  • Charlie Chaplin
    “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.”
  • Henry Miller
    “Madness is tonic and invigorating. It makes the sane more sane. The only ones who are unable to profit by it are the insane.”


In literature:

Mr. Null says it's a tonic, and it's sure to do me good.
"Heart and Science" by Wilkie Collins
I think I want a tonic.
"The Fallen Leaves" by Wilkie Collins
This tonic English climate will wind you up in a month.
"A Passionate Pilgrim" by Henry James
For about a week, perhaps a bit more, the recollection of that quiet little domestic evening bucked him up like a tonic.
"My Man Jeeves" by P. G. Wodehouse
I am sure you ought to be given some sort of iron tonic, like the anaemic girls.
"Cæsar or Nothing" by Pío Baroja Baroja
In the first place such incessant activity of mind as his is in itself both tonic and narcotic.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
The Indians loved to smoke its bark for its alleged tonic effect.
"Wild Flowers Worth Knowing" by Neltje Blanchan
Each acted as a sort of mental tonic on the other.
"With Edged Tools" by Henry Seton Merriman
These rests, therefore, come periodically to all at the front, and are, as it were, tonics.
"Bullets & Billets" by Bruce Bairnsfather
I take my tonics now whenever nurse gives them to me, and I never pour them out of the window as I used to do.
"His Big Opportunity" by Amy Le Feuvre
Now I'll take your tonics, and then would you have the kindness to ask my sister to come to me?
"Mr. Scarborough's Family" by Anthony Trollope
The followers of this school forget that there can be no tonicity without tension.
"The Renaissance of the Vocal Art" by Edmund Myer
Plunge into a storm, it will act as tonic on your spirit.
"Supreme Personality" by Delmer Eugene Croft
Such a walk is tonic and medicinal, and should be prescribed to dyspeptic patients.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866" by Various
Nothing stayed its course, and there was health-giving tonic in its breath.
"Janet of the Dunes" by Harriet T. Comstock
The jaundice soon afterwards vanished, and tonics restored him to perfect health.
"An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses" by William Withering
Harley, relaxed from the tension of the night before, leaned back in his seat and enjoyed the tonic breeze.
"The Candidate" by Joseph Alexander Altsheler
I'll be after giving you a tonic, me boy.
"Left Guard Gilbert" by Ralph Henry Barbour
At that crisis, contradiction was a tonic.
"The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley" by Louis Tracy
If one needs a tonic, therefore, alcohol is one of the things to be shunned altogether.
"Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why" by Martha M. Allen

In poetry:

You with your long academical
Causes for "thinning on top,"
Selling me gallons of chemical
Tonic, a brush, and a strop;
"Christmas Cards" by Franklin Pierce Adams
The glorious Sacrament of Christ
Is tonic to the soul each day:
A ransom in the Blood of love,
Is gain for those who humbly pray.
"Our Day" by Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Let no man shrink from the bitter tonics
Of grief, and yearning, and need, and strife,
For the rarest chords in the soul's harmonies,
Are found in the minor strains of life.
"Life's Harmonies" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Pretty Sadie, aged fourteen,
To a lamp-post clings serene.
"What's the matter?" some may ask.
On her hip she wears a flask
Labelled "Tonic for the Hair"—
"Hic," says Sadie, "we should care!"
"Owed To Volstead" by Wallace Irwin
- Lady, the destiny of minor powers,
Who would recast us, is but to convulse:
You enter on a strife that frets and sours;
You can but win sick disappointment's hue;
And simply an accelerated pulse,
Some tonic you have drunk moves you.
"A Ballad Of Fair Ladies In Revolt" by George Meredith

In news:

Cardiff rout just the tonic we needed.
Is there a sweeter tonic for the doldrums than old reviews of great novels.
"Cats are a tonic, they are a laugh, they are a cuddle, and they are at least pretty just about all of the time and beautiful some of the time.".
Million-dollar view: The rooftop deck at Tonic, Uptown's newest destination bar.
In a $34 billion state budget with a $1.5 billion surplus to spread about like election-year tonic, it would be misleading to suggest there were winners and losers.
For the most part the neighborhood pub is a place to get your Jack and Coke, your Sapphire and Tonic and a nice cold beer with a smile.
Magazine — Hollowell has bartended nearly everywhere he's worked, including Holdren's Steakhouse, StateMynt, and the pre-Tonic place known as 634.
Composer Steve Mackey's TONIC--VAN GOGH UP CLOSE--Producer of THE MOUSETRAP Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen.
David Patrick Stearns profiles composer Steve Mackey as the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia readies the world premiere of Mackey's Tonic.
Tonic, 3155 Mount Pleasant St NW.
See all past events at Tonic Room .
Cincinnati Neighborhood: Grandview Favorite movie: "Bridesmaids" Favorite book: Any James Patterson Favorite cocktail: Gin & Tonic Favorite thing to do in Columbus: Eat.
After taking over Vogue 's official Twitter feed for a whole hour this afternoon, Grace Coddington treated herself to a vodka tonic.
I will never forget the look of horror on a Baptist friend's face when the priest who was to officiate at our wedding ordered a vodka and tonic at the rehearsal dinner.
A cocktail lounge tucked into Tonic 's basement offers interesting.

In science:

An important open question is why sleep proceeds in several cycles of alternating non-REM and REM stages, and why REM sleep itself exhibits cycles of tonic and phasic REM .
Quantum randomness can be controlled by free will -a consequence of the before-before experiment
With the tonicity of the medium, the degree of deformation of the RBCs changes and so does the average rotation speed .
Optical tweezer for probing erythrocyte membrane deformability
An equal-tempered chromatic scale is a nondiatonic scale having no tonic, because of the symmetry of its equally spaced tones.
Music in Terms of Science
A ma jor scale is one whose third degree is a ma jor third above the tonic, while a minor scale has a minor third degree.
Music in Terms of Science
In tonal music of the 18th and 19th centuries, the tonic center was the most important of all the different tone centers which a composer often used in a piece of music.
Music in Terms of Science
That is why we do not feel uneasy—unresolved—if a song ends on the fifth scale degree instead of on the tonic.
Music in Terms of Science
Thus, in a hierarchy of importance among scale tones, tonic is the key note, around which a fifth degree above is the dominant and a fifth degree below the subdominant.
Music in Terms of Science
The supertonic and leading tone are a step away on either side of the tonic.
Music in Terms of Science
Among the seven tones, the tonic, dominant, and subdominant are called the principal scale tones because they are in the most influential positions in music making.
Music in Terms of Science
The leading tone has a special effect that tends to move toward (or resolve to) the tonic.
Music in Terms of Science
This is the “do” (as the tonic) which comes both first and last in the do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do scale.
Music in Terms of Science
The triad on “do” (do-mi-so) is the “I” chord or Tonic, which serves as the chord of rest.
Music in Terms of Science
Dominant moving to Tonic constitutes a compact formula of activity completed, of movement come to rest.
Music in Terms of Science
Therefore the Dominant-Tonic progression shapes the most common final cadence in music.
Music in Terms of Science
These three triads, the Tonic, Dominant, and Subdominant, usually suffice to harmonize many melodies.
Music in Terms of Science