Definition of tic in English:


Line breaks: tic
Pronunciation: /tɪk


  • 1A habitual spasmodic contraction of the muscles, most often in the face.
    More example sentences
    • In contrast, complex motor tics usually involve more muscle groups.
    • Others discovered that after months or years of treatment they developed uncontrollable muscle twitches or tics that were often irreversible, even after stopping the drugs.
    • Other children get stomach aches, headaches, heart palpitations or muscle tics.
    twitch, spasm, jerk, convulsion, contraction, tremor, tremble
  • 1.1An idiosyncratic and habitual feature of a person’s behaviour: they’ve developed a verbal tic which involves repeating odd bits of each other’s utterances
    More example sentences
    • As I watched, he started to display another characteristic tic - smiling and giving her a lazy wink.
    • The actor's tics and idiosyncrasies are in full flower here.
    • But what of other sports stars and their sporting tics, traits and peculiarities?


early 19th century: from French, from Italian ticchio.

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