• WordNet 3.6
    • adj tonic imparting vitality and energy "the bracing mountain air"
    • adj tonic used of syllables "a tonic syllables carries the main stress in a word"
    • adj tonic relating to or being the keynote of a major or minor scale "tonic harmony"
    • adj tonic employing variations in pitch to distinguish meanings of otherwise similar words "Chinese is a tonal language"
    • adj tonic of or relating to or producing normal tone or tonus in muscles or tissue "a tonic reflex","tonic muscle contraction"
    • n tonic a medicine that strengthens and invigorates
    • n tonic (music) the first note of a diatonic scale
    • n tonic a sweet drink containing carbonated water and flavoring "in New England they call sodas tonics"
    • n tonic lime- or lemon-flavored carbonated water containing quinine
    • ***
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".
    • Tonic (Med) A medicine that increases the strength, and gives vigor of action to the system.
    • Tonic (Phon) A tonic element or letter; a vowel or a diphthong.
    • Tonic (Med) Characterized by continuous muscular contraction; as, tonic convulsions.
    • Tonic (Med) Increasing strength, or the tone of the animal system; obviating the effects of debility, and restoring healthy functions.
    • Tonic Of or pertaining to tension; increasing tension; hence, increasing strength; as, tonic power.
    • Tonic 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.”
    • Tonic (Mus) The key tone, or first tone of any scale.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • tonic Characterized by distinctive tones. Same as toned, 2. See tone, 15.
    • tonic Of or relating to tones or musical sounds.
    • tonic Specifically, in music, of or pertaining to, or founded on, the key-note or tonic.
    • tonic Of or pertaining to tension; increasing tension.
    • tonic In medicine, increasing the strength or tone of the animal system; obviating the effects of weakness or debility, and restoring healthy functions; hence, bracing or invigorating to the mental or the moral nature.
    • n tonic In medicine, any remedy which improves the tone or vigor of the fibers of the stomach and bowels, or of the muscular fibers generally. Tonics may be said to be of two kinds, medicinal and nonmedicinal. Medicinal tonics act chiefly in two ways: either
    • n tonic In music, same as key-note. See also key, 7 .
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Tonic ton′ik relating to tones or sounds:
    • n Tonic a medicine which gives tone and vigour to the system
    • adj Tonic ton′ik (med.) giving tone and vigour to the system: giving or increasing strength
    • ***


  • 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.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. tonigue, Gr. . See Tone


In literature:

It is quick in its action and has a strong tonic effect.
"Pratt's Practical Pointers on the Care of Livestock and Poultry" by Pratt Food Co.
In Zach the Andante is in the minor tonic, and the third movement in the upper-dominant.
"The Pianoforte Sonata" by J.S. Shedlock
But he could bear it, sustained by the bitter tonic of his own numerous aversions.
"The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax" by Harriet Parr
Meantime Jane was to take her nap, her milk, and her tonic without my standing over her.
"The House of the Misty Star" by Fannie Caldwell Macaulay
The hardest work, if done with common sense, is after all a tonic.
"The Young Man and the World" by Albert J. Beveridge
Nevertheless, the strong, moist, tonic wind, the taste of salt on his lips refreshed him.
"Atlantis" by Gerhart Hauptmann
He walked briskly, feeling the tonic of the sea air, and circled the cathedral, where workmen were lounging away after their day's toil.
"The Stolen Singer" by Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger
The revival of hopes sometimes serves as a tonic.
"By the Light of the Soul" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The using of them upon a legitimate antagonist in whose debt he was not, and never had been, acted like a tonic.
"The Debtor" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Combined with the +Tonic-Regulator+, the results were prompt and satisfactory.
"Manhood Perfectly Restored" by Unknown

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:

( The a cappella group Tonic S?l-Fa takes to the Hendricks Hall stage for the University of Central Missouri's Performing Arts Series Holiday Concert at 7:30 pm Thursday, Nov 29.
What To Eat (& Drink) Tonight: Gin-grich & Tonic at Topaz .
At the end of a healthcare transaction, Tonic can collect feedback and assess patients' satisfaction regarding their experiences.
John Ray found his tonic in high school and never let go.
With a happy hour like Tonic 's, how could they not wander in.
Any regular to Tonic had to see it coming, but it's still sad to hear of the fall of yet another Lower East Side club.
Newly Launched Ambre Blends ~Skin Tonic ~ rejuvenating natural body oil.
Ambre Blends Skin Tonic is a luxury body oil developed exclusively for the purpose of rejuvenating skin and providing a healthy glow to your face and body.
Does it take a lot of hand-selling to get the younger drinker into Gin & Tonics .
Artist and coach Kelly Richey shares some wisdom with tonic 's Jonese Franklin.
NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro talks with tonic 's Josh James about his career at NPR and the new book This is NPR: The First 40 Years.
Music Lounge presents Tonic on the WGN-TV Midday News.
Tonic set for Velvet Sessions.
Two Term Tonic at Bar Pilar.
That's why it has one special: The Two Term Tonic .

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
Most tonal music pieces begin and end on the tonic, usually with modulation to the dominant (the fifth note above or the fourth note down with respect to the tonic note) in between.
Music in Terms of Science