a sudden, spasmodic, painless, involuntary muscular contraction, as of the face.
a persistent or recurrent behavioral trait; personal quirk: her distinctive verbal tics.

1790–1800; < French (of expressive orig.)

tic, tick.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


a suffix, equivalent in meaning to -ic, occurring in adjectives of Greek origin (analytic ), used especially in the formation of adjectives from nouns with stems in -sis: hematotic; neurotic.

< Greek -tikos, extracted from adjectives derived with -ikos -ic from agent nouns ending in -tēs; cf. hieratic

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tic
World English Dictionary
tic (tɪk)
1.  spasmodic twitching of a particular group of muscles
2.  See tic douloureux
[C19: from French, of uncertain origin; compare Italian ticche]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

twitching of a facial muscle, 1822, often a shortening of tic douloureux "severe facial neuralgia," lit. "painful twitch" (1800), from Fr. tic "a twitching disease of horses" (1611), of unknown origin. Klein suggests an imitative origin; Fr. etymologists compare it to It. ticchio "whim, caprice."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tic (tĭk)
A habitual spasmodic muscular movement or contraction, usually of the face or extremities. Also called habit spasm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. tongue in cheek

  2. total inorganic carbon

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature