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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tonus \To"nus\, n. [L. a sound, tone. See Tone.] (Physiol.) Tonicity, or tone; as, muscular tonus.


n. (context biology English) tonicity; tone


n. the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli; "the doctor tested my tonicity" [syn: tonicity, tone] [ant: atonicity]


Tonus is the Latin equivalent of the English word tone. It is especially used to refer to:

  • Muscle tone, the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles
  • Arterial tone, the continuous and passive partial contraction of the arterioles
  • Tonicity, the ability of a solution to cause water movement
  • The Pythagorean interval of 9/8
  • A brand of fruit juice produced by the Lebedyansky division of PepsiCo in Russia

Usage examples of "tonus".

There is a certain form of idiocy in which the jaw muscles lose all tonus and the jaw just hangs open.

Master Tso-Ban sat there with his legs folded, had sat for sixteen hours unmoving, scarcely breathing, his heartbeat only sufficient for the tonus necessary to an upright posture.

The knife gash on his arm seemed to have stopped bleeding by itself, though it was deep enough that tonus kept it open.

The unit could measure tonus and nerve conduction close enough so that when programmed properly it would take a user exactly as far as she could go, no more, no less.

Other such elements include alteration in galvanic skin reaction and muscle tones, particularly the tonus of the face and jaw muscles.

In the middle of an impassioned plea for reason and patience, he had suddenly fallen back against a wall, screamed like a madman, and lost all tonus in his face.

Motion picture studies of Ronald Reagan reveal characteristic patterns of facial tonus and musculature associated with homo-erotic behaviour.