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

  • n. Body or muscular tone; tonicity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. tonicity; tone

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Tonicity, or tone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A condition of preparedness in an organ or tissue to perform its normal function as soon as the customary stimulus is applied.
  • n. Tonicity.
  • n. Tonic spasm.

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

  • n. the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli


Latin, tone; see tone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin a sound, tone. See tone. (Wiktionary)


  • In the frog's tongue, capillary tonus is very strongly developed, in that by far the majority are completely contracted.

    August Krogh - Nobel Lecture

  • This tonus is influenced by the stimulation of the vestibular apparatus in the regular manner already indicated.

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1914 - Presentation

  • If one performs the same experiment with the tongue, many hours must elapse before a similar reaction occurs, and even the slightest blood supply is adequate to maintain tonus.

    August Krogh - Nobel Lecture

  • William Cullen (1712-90) accepting irritability as his starting-point, supposes a "tonus" or fluid inherent in the nerves (Newton's ether), whose stronger or weaker motions produce either a spasm or atony.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • a centre for the tonus which is directed against the sagittal axis of the body, i.e. «inwards» and also a centre for the tonus away from this axis, i.e. «outwards».

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1914 - Presentation

  • In the traditional Roman Rite, this Psalm was sung each Sunday night at Vespers, and it has a special tone that is normally reserved for it alone: the tonus peregrinus, or "pilgrim tone," music well suited to this Psalm of the wandering of God's People in their search for the Holy Land.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • The synagogue gave to the Early Christian church some of its ancient melodies; the recitation formula of the psalm B'tset Yisrael "When Israel went forth out of Egypt", for example, survives in the Gregorian chant repertoire as the tonus peregrinus.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • Au bout de 5 ou dix minutes d'attente interminable, je recupere un peu de tonus musculaire mais je suis affreusement crevé.

    pinku-tk Diary Entry

  • Dans sa forme la plus typique il y a également des accès de chute brutale du tonus musculaire (on parle de cataplexie) déclenchée par les émotions: fou rire, surprise, colère, excitation…

    pinku-tk Diary Entry

  • It can very easily be shown that blood flow is a condition for the maintenance of tonus, but that dependence on the blood is very varied.

    August Krogh - Nobel Lecture


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