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(1)   Imparting vitality and energy
"The bracing mountain air"
(2)   Used of syllables
"A tonic syllables carries the main stress in a word"
(3)   Relating to or being the keynote of a major or minor scale
"Tonic harmony"
(4)   Employing variations in pitch to distinguish meanings of otherwise similar words
"Chinese is a tonal language"
(5)   Of or relating to or producing normal tone or tonus in muscles or tissue
"A tonic reflex"
"Tonic muscle contraction"


(6)   A medicine that strengthens and invigorates
(7)   (music) the first note of a diatonic scale
(8)   A sweet drink containing carbonated water and flavoring
"In New England they call sodas tonics"
(9)   Lime- or lemon-flavored carbonated water containing quinine


From Greek τονικός, form of tonos (to stretch). 17th century writers believed health to be derived from firmly stretched muscles, thus tonic; the extension of tonic medicine appeared in the late 18th century.


  1. Restorative, curative or invigorating.
    The arrival of the new members had a tonic effect on the team.


  1. A drink intended to restore or invigorate.
    We used to brew a tonic from a particular kind of root.
  2. Tonic water.
  3. (Northeastern US) Any of various carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages; soda pop.
  4. The first note of a scale.
  5. The triad built on the tonic note.