Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not accented: an atonic syllable.
  • adj. Pathology Relating to, caused by, or exhibiting lack of muscle tone.
  • n. A word, syllable, or sound that is unaccented.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Referring to a syllable or sound that is spoken without accent or stress.
  • adj. Lacking muscle tone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Characterized by atony, or lack of vital energy.
  • adj. Unaccented.
  • adj. Destitute of tone vocality; surd.
  • n. A word that has no accent.
  • n. An element of speech entirely destitute of vocality, or produced by the breath alone; a nonvocal or surd consonant; a breathing.
  • n. A remedy capable of allaying organic excitement or irritation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In pathology, characterized by atony, or want of tone or power: as, an atonic disease.
  • In philology: Unaccented. Produced by the breath alone; surd.
  • n. In medicine, a drug capable of allaying organic excitement or irritation.
  • n. In philology: A word or syllable that has no accent.
  • n. An elementary sound produced by the breath; a surd consonant; a breathing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by a lack of tonus
  • adj. used of syllables

Etymologies

From Greek atonos; see atony.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This state has been absurdly enough called the atonic gout, as if there were a gout accompanied with vigour and sthenic diathesis: but the absence of inflammation in the extremities may depend on two causes.

    Popular Lectures on Zoonomia Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease

  • The researchers did find that women who used triptans in their second or third trimester were more likely to develop a condition called atonic uterus, in which the uterus fails to contract back to its normal size after delivery.

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • A sequence of atonic closed vowel + open vowel + atonic closed vowel can be pronounced, in certain cases, as one syllable, a triphthong, and in others as two distinct syllables, with a hiatus followed by a diphthong, or vice versa.

    Triphthongs in Spanish

  • For a triphthong to exist, two closed atonic vowels (“i” or “u”) and, between them, an open vowel (“a”, “e”, or “o”): anunciáis, guau, miau, confiéis.

    Triphthongs in Spanish

  • However, for purposes of graphic accenting, any sequence made up of an open vowel between two closed atonic vowels will always be considered as a triphthong, regardless of its actual articulation in one or two syllables.

    Triphthongs in Spanish

  • Have any of you been informed that eventually a person cannot live on the tube feeding, that the bowel will begin to not absorb the nutrients, and that it will become atonic or atrophied?

    Regarding The CAT Scan Of Terri Schiavo’s Brain

  • The elderly can have atonic constipation secondary to nerve dysfunction that reduces or halts peristalsis.

    THE NATURAL REMEDY BIBLE

  • Oh K, I did get a little bit TOO inebriated at one point, but it was nice for me to be KAT-atonic for a bit, as a reminder for how wonderful it is to have my wits about me.

    What a Fuckin' Great Weekend!

  • The racket issuing from the squawk box just above Hansen's bunk was appalling, a high-pitched, shrieking, atonic whistle, two-toned and altering pitch every half-second, it drilled stiletto-like against my cringing eardrums.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • The atonic screeching of the whistle stopped abruptly and the silence fell like a blow.

    Ice Station Zebra

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