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


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


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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


  • 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.

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

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