noun \ˈtün, ˈtyün\

: a series of musical notes that produce a pleasing sound when played or sung

Full Definition of TUNE

a archaic :  quality of sound :  tone
b :  manner of utterance :  intonation; specifically :  phonetic modulation
a :  a pleasing succession of musical tones :  melody
b :  a dominant theme
:  correct musical pitch or consonance —used chiefly in the phrases in tune and out of tune
a archaic :  a frame of mind :  mood
b :  agreement, harmony <in tune with the times>
c :  general attitude :  approach <changed his tune when the going got rough>
:  amount, extent <custom-made to the tune of $40 to $50 apiece — American Fabrics>

Examples of TUNE

  1. <hummed a little tune while I sorted the laundry>
  2. <your negative assessment of the restaurant seems to be in tune with the opinions of the critics>

Origin of TUNE

Middle English, from Anglo-French tun, tuen tone
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue



: to adjust (a musical instrument) so that it makes the correct sound when played

: to make small changes to (something) in order to make it work better

: to adjust (a radio or television) so that it receives a broadcast clearly


Full Definition of TUNE

transitive verb
:  to adjust in musical pitch or cause to be in tune <tuned her guitar>
a :  to bring into harmony :  attune
b :  to adjust for precise functioning —often used with up <tune up an engine>
c :  to make more precise, intense, or effective
:  to adjust with respect to resonance at a particular frequency: as
a :  to adjust (a radio or television receiver) to respond to waves of a particular frequency —often used with in
b :  to establish radio contact with <tune in a directional beacon>
:  to adjust the frequency of the output of (a device) to a chosen frequency or range of frequencies; also :  to alter the frequency of (radiation)
intransitive verb
:  to become attuned
:  to adjust a radio or television receiver to respond to waves of a particular frequency

Examples of TUNE

  1. The piano needs to be tuned.
  2. We tuned our bikes before the road trip.
  3. The mechanic tuned the engine.
  4. The copilot tuned the radio to hear the message.

First Known Use of TUNE

15th century
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears