Webster 1913 Edition
[F., from It.
tontina; – so called from its inventor,
Tonti, an Italian, of the 17th century.]
An annuity, with the benefit of survivorship, or a loan raised on life annuities with the benefit of survivorship. Thus, an annuity is shared among a number, on the principle that the share of each, at his death, is enjoyed by the survivors, until at last the whole goes to the last survivor, or to the last two or three, according to the terms on which the money is advanced. Used also adjectively;
Too many of the financiers by professions are apt to see nothing in revenue but banks, and circulations, and annuities on lives, and
tontines, and perpetual rents, and all the small wares of the shop.
Webster 1828 Edition