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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
gin and tonic
▪ an herbal tonic
▪ Humor was the tonic that brought Reeves out of his depression.
▪ I'll have a gin and tonic.
▪ And remember, nothing - no skin tonic, astringent, freshener or plain cold water - can close your pores.
▪ He said he had drunk eight to 10 pints of lager and some vodka and tonic, the court was told.
▪ It was a tonic we needed.
▪ It was good tonic for me to watch this.
▪ There was a lot of hair tonic in evidence.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tonic \Ton"ic\, a. [Cf. F. tonigue, Gr. ?. See Tone.]

  1. 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.''

  2. Of or pertaining to tension; increasing tension; hence, increasing strength; as, tonic power.

  3. (Med.) Increasing strength, or the tone of the animal system; obviating the effects of debility, and restoring healthy functions.

  4. (Med.) Characterized by continuous muscular contraction; as, tonic convulsions.

    Tonic spasm. (Med.) See the Note under Spasm.


Tonic \Ton"ic\, n. [Cf. F. tonique, NL. tonicum.]

  1. (Phon.) A tonic element or letter; a vowel or a diphthong.

  2. (Mus.) The key tone, or first tone of any scale.

  3. (Med.) A medicine that increases the strength, and gives vigor of action to the system.

    Tonic sol-fa (Mus.), the name of the most popular among letter systems of notation (at least in England), based on key relationship, and hence called ``tonic.'' Instead of the five lines, clefs, signature, etc., of the usual notation, it employs letters and the syllables do, re, mi, etc., variously modified, with other simple signs of duration, of upper or lower octave, etc. See Sol-fa.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"a tonic medicine," 1799, from tonic (adj.). From 1873 (in gin and tonic) as short for tonic water (1861 as a commercial product, water infused with quinine), so called because held to aid digestion and stimulate appetite.


1640s, "relating to or characterized by muscular tension," from Greek tonikos "of stretching," from tonos "a stretching" (see tenet). The meaning "maintaining the healthy firmness of tissues" is recorded from 1680s, first extended 1756 to "having the property of restoring to health." Related: Tonical (1580s).


in the musical sense, 1760, short for tonic note, from tone (n.) in the musical sense + -ic. Related: Tonicity.


Etymology 1 a. 1 (context physics pathology English) Pertaining to tension, especially of muscles. 2 restorative, curative or invigorating. n. 1 A substance with medicinal properties intended to restore or invigorate. 2 tonic water. 3 (context US Northeastern US English) Any of various carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages; soda pop. 4 (context figuratively English) Someone or something that revitalises or reinvigorates. Etymology 2

a. 1 (context music English) Pertaining to the keynote of a composition. 2 Pertaining to the accent or stress in a word or in speech. 3 Of or relating to tones or sounds; specifically (context phonetics dated English) being or relating to a speech sound made with tone unmixed and undimmed by obstruction, i.e. a vowel or diphthong. n. 1 (context music English) The first note of a scale. 2 (context music English) The triad built on the tonic note. 3 (context phonetics English) A tonic element or letter; a vowel or a diphthong.

  1. n. lime- or lemon-flavored carbonated water containing quinine [syn: tonic water, quinine water]

  2. a sweet drink containing carbonated water and flavoring; "in New England they call sodas tonics" [syn: pop, soda, soda pop, soda water]

  3. (music) the first note of a diatonic scale [syn: keynote]

  4. a medicine that strengthens and invigorates [syn: restorative]

  1. adj. of or relating to or producing normal tone or tonus in muscles or tissue; "a tonic reflex"; "tonic muscle contraction"

  2. employing variations in pitch to distinguish meanings of otherwise similar words; "Chinese is a tonal language" [syn: tonal]

  3. used of syllables; "a tonic syllables carries the main stress in a word" [syn: accented] [ant: atonic]

  4. relating to or being the keynote of a major or minor scale; "tonic harmony"

  5. imparting vitality and energy; "the bracing mountain air" [syn: bracing, brisk, energizing, energising, fresh, refreshing, refreshful]

Tonic (physiology)

Tonic in physiology refers to a physiological response which is slow and may be graded. This term is typically used in opposition to a fast response. For instance, tonic muscles are contrasted by the more typical and much faster twitch muscles, while tonic sensory nerve endings are contrasted to the much faster phasic sensory nerve endings.

Tonic (music)

In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of a diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord. More generally, the tonic is the pitch upon which all other pitches of a piece are hierarchically referenced. Scales are named after their tonics, thus the tonic of the scale of C is the note C. Simple songs may begin and end on the tonic note.

The tonic is often confused with the root, which is the reference note of a chord, rather than that of the scale. It is also represented with the Roman numeral I.


Tonic may refer to:

  • Tonic water, a drink traditionally containing quinine
  • Soft drink, a carbonated beverage
  • Tonic (physiology), the response of a muscle fiber or nerve ending typified by slow, continuous action
  • Herbal tonic, a herbal medicine with tonic effects
  • Tonic (music), a concept of music theory
  • Tonic (band), an American rock band
  • Tonic (Tonic album), 2010
  • Tonic (music venue), a New York City music venue, 1998–2007
  • Tonic (Medeski Martin & Wood album), 2000
  • Tonic (radio program), Canadian radio program
  • Tonic suit, a garment made from a shiny mohair blend that was fashionable among the Mods of the mid 1960s.
Tonic (band)

Tonic is an American rock band that has earned two Grammy nominations. The band was formed in 1993 by Emerson Hart and Jeff Russo. Later members have included Dan Lavery, Kevin Shepard, Pierce Bowers, and Dan Rothchild. Signed to a recording contract in 1995, the band released its debut album Lemon Parade in 1996. The single " If You Could Only See" reached No. 11 on the Billboard Airplay Hot 100, and Lemon Parade itself reached platinum status.

Tonic spent much of the next two years touring, adding to its reputation as a relentlessly gigging band. In addition to extensive touring Tonic produced other work, including songs for feature film soundtracks. After self-producing its 1999 album Sugar, Tonic released its third album Head on Straight in 2002. Tonic received two Grammy nominations from Head on Straight, including one for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Take Me As I Am", and one for Best Rock Album. The band then went on hiatus beginning in 2004 while its members pursued other musical endeavors. It wasn't until late 2008 Tonic became active again, embarking on a tour and releasing a greatest-hits compilation, all of which served as a prelude to their fourth studio album, 2010's Tonic. After the release of that album, Tonic has continued to tour and remain active into the year 2016, when they announced they were utilizing direct funding from fans to release an all-acoustic version of Lemon Parade in celebration of that album's 20th anniversary.

Tonic (Medeski Martin & Wood album)

Tonic is a live album by experimental jazz fusion trio Medeski Martin & Wood recorded at Tonic in New York City from March 16–20 and 23-26, 1999. Medeski Martin & Wood played their first live performance at Tonic on July 4, 1998, not long after the club opened in the Spring of 1998. Like their first album, Notes from the Underground, Tonic was recorded in their original acoustic format: piano, bass and drums. This format was replaced by electric alternatives brought about by the restrictions of touring during the early 1990s. The setting and format of Tonic is reminiscent of Medeski Martin & Wood's acoustic roots. The live performance was conducted in front of a 150-person audience that almost surrounded the musicians.

Tonic (radio program)

Tonic is a Canadian radio program, which debuted on March 19, 2007 on CBC Radio 2. It plays a blend of jazz music with Latin jazz, soul, R&B and world groove, and currently airing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The program was originally hosted by Katie Malloch weekdays from Montreal and Tim Tamashiro on weekends from Calgary; since Malloch's retirement from the CBC in early 2012, Tamashiro has been the sole host.

It originally aired from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. nightly. The change occurred on June 29, 2009 when it switched places with Canada Live, which had previously followed Tonic in the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot. The program also formerly aired a Sunday edition as well, but this was dropped when the network added The Strombo Show on Sunday nights.

One edition of Tonic also airs on CBC Radio One on Sunday nights.

Tonic (music venue)

Tonic was a music venue located at 107 Norfolk Street, New York City which opened in the Spring of 1998 and closed in April 2007. It was self-described as supporting "avant garde, creative and experimental music " and known for its commitment to musical integrity. A former kosher winery, the small and unassuming building provided a sense of intimacy by setting the performers within arms length of the audience. Tonic was the location of numerous live recordings by a variety of musicians.

Tonic's closing was related to soaring rent on the Lower East Side. The final show on Friday, April 13, 2007 was an evening of improvisation organized by John Zorn and a techno party, the venue's weekly resident, The Bunker, hosted by Bryan Kasenic (DJ Spinoza). The closure the following day was accompanied by a symbolic protest. There were more than 100 protestors. Refusing to leave, two musicians, Marc Ribot and Rebecca Moore, were arrested for trespassing while cheered on by supporters across the street. The Bunker moved the following week to Luna Lounge in Brooklyn which was itself a club recently displaced from the Lower East Side.

Tonic (Tonic album)

Tonic is the self-titled fourth studio album by modern rock band Tonic. The project was originally announced in 2008, with writing and recording carrying through summer and fall of 2009. Recorded primarily at Conway Studios in Hollywood, California, the album was co-produced by Tonic and Nathaniel Kunkel. The first (and only) single from the album was the track "Release Me." Promotion for the album consisted of a multi-faceted approach, combining traditional radio and tour promotion with social networking technology like Twitter and MySpace. Critical reception to Tonic was generally positive. The album was released on May 4, 2010 in North America, and spent one week on the Billboard 200 album chart, where it ranked 150. The band subsequently embarked on a tour to coincide with this album's release.

Usage examples of "tonic".

Black Cohosh is an alterative stimulant, nervine, diaphoretic, tonic, and a cerebro-spinal stimulant.

This is a tonic to the kidneys, as well as a diuretic and alterative, and is a mild, but very efficient remedy.

In addition to the alterative properties combined in this compound, it possesses important tonic qualities.

He was put upon a tonic and alterative course of treatment, which also embraced the use of such medicines as have been found to exert a specific, tonic action upon the muscular tissues of the heart.

It is for this reason that neither time nor pains have been spared in perfecting an alterative, tonic, nutritive, restorative, and antiseptic compound, to which Dr.

The treatment of this disease should consist in rest for the hip-joint, cleanliness of the person and plenty of fresh air and light, a nutritious diet and the use of tonics and sustaining alterative, or blood-cleansing medicines.

Golden Medical Discovery will be found invaluable as an alterative, blood purifier, and nerve tonic, and should be taken regularly while Dr.

She thought alfalfa tea would be good, since it was generally stimulating and refreshing, with some borage flowers and leaves, which made a healthful tonic, and gillyflowers for sweetness and a mild spicy taste.

As soon as he came into the house he went into the kitchen, where she was preparing dimer, and mixed them both a gin and tonic.

This is a tonic nervine of unsurpassed efficacy, combined in such a manner, that, while it quiets nervous irritation, it strengthens the enfeebled nervous system, restoring it to healthful vigor.

From the look of this lightsome feast, I conclude that what you need is a tonic.

Not satisfied with this, Meules sent the general a second letter, meant, like the first, as a tonic and a stimulant.

Clotilde naughtily, blood sugars in one hand and gin and tonic in the other?

In 1852 he was made director of the Orpheonists, the male part singers of Paris, numbering many thousands, somewhat answering to the organization of the Tonic Sol-fa in England.

Frequent practice in the accurate enunciation of the tonic elements as given above, and a habit of watchfulness established as to the orthoepy of those which are most easily obscured, in all words in which they occur, will soon secure, if not a resonant, sonorous utterance with respect to the tonic elements, at least a correct pronunciation.