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Pronunciation: to-nis'i-te


  1. A state of normal tension of the tissues by virtue of which the parts are kept in shape, alert, and ready to function in response to a suitable stimulus. In the case of muscle, it refers to a state of continuous activity or tension beyond that related to the physical properties; it is active resistance to stretch; in skeletal muscle it is dependent upon the efferent innervation.
  2. The osmotic pressure or tension of a solution, usually relative to that of blood.

Synonym(s): tonus

[G. tonos, tone]

See Also: isotonicity

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.