\ˈtün, ˈtyün\

Definition of tune 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a pleasing succession of musical tones : melody

b : a dominant theme

2 : correct musical pitch or consonance used chiefly in the phrases in tune and out of tune

3a : agreement, harmony in tune with the times

b : general attitude : approach changed his tune when the going got rough

c archaic : a frame of mind : mood

4 : amount, extent custom-made to the tune of $40 to $50 apieceAmer. Fabrics

5a : manner of utterance : intonation specifically : phonetic modulation

b archaic : quality of sound : tone


tuned; tuning

Definition of tune (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to adjust in musical pitch or cause to be in tune tuned her guitar

2a : 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

3 : to adjust with respect to resonance at a particular frequency: such 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

4 : 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

1 : to become attuned

2 : to adjust a radio or television receiver to respond to waves of a particular frequency

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Examples of tune in a Sentence


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


The piano needs to be tuned. We tuned our bikes before the road trip. The mechanic tuned the engine. The copilot tuned the radio to hear the message.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of course, dancing followed dinner with tunes by DJ Natasha Diggs. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Thanks to Valentino, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Annual Fall Party Was Especially Chic," 8 Nov. 2018 Preparing for the enemy of yesterday Other companies, though, seem not to have changed tune much. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Using the Oakley Prizm technology that tunes optics for the snow environment, the rimless design creates a larger field of view that fits with Oakley’s Fall Line XL MOD3 and MOD5 products. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Oakley Now Packs 3 Tint Lenses Inside Its Snow Goggles," 11 Oct. 2018 Check out these 25 tunes that will guarantee to get your guests in the Halloween spirit. 1. Micaela English, Town & Country, "The 25 Best Halloween Songs Of All Time," 23 July 2018 The concertmaster works closely with the conductor on performance and interpretation issues, sets bowing instructions for other first violin players and tunes the orchestra before each concert begins. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Timothy Lees steps down as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concertmaster," 13 July 2018 The mournful ballads of lost love, an upbeat tune to welcome the harvest, wandering mystical notes contemplating and celebrating God. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Tennis’ songs are cleverly crafted pop tunes with a twist. Longreads, "Tennis vs. Tennis," 13 July 2018 Learn soul line-dances choreographed to R&B, jazz, gospel and Latin tunes. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Woman of the Year awards given," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stay tuned for more updates on Harry and Meghan's royal baby. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Baby: Everything You Need to Know," 18 Oct. 2018 Finely tuned motion, solid gun mechanics, and comfortable rotation and walking speeds are the primary drivers of this tactical-team shooter, which otherwise plays like a standard, asymmetric Counter Strike clone. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Feel better about your PlayStation VR with sweet new games Astro Bot, Firewall," 11 Oct. 2018 Stay tuned for more information about the new Surface devices. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update releases today with ray tracing in tow," 2 Oct. 2018 Mortar Mix The base material is finely tuned to prevent sagging. Andrea Powell, WIRED, "How to 3-D Print an Entire House in a Single Day," 11 July 2018 Stay tuned for that joyous news in the next column. Chris Folks, Laurel Leader, "Wonderful Wahoos, both young and old [West Laurel]," 14 June 2018 Stay tuned for the full story in an upcoming REEL ROCK film. National Geographic, "Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Set Historic Speed Record on El Capitan," 6 June 2018 Julie Byrne’s finely tuned compositions headline this celebration of experimentation and creativity. Efrain Dorado, RedEye Chicago, "5 must-see concerts in Chicago this week: Dan Auerbach, Daphne 2018," 30 Mar. 2018 We like the pack’s clean lines and svelte design, but there are plenty of features built in, like a large stretch outer pocket, compression straps to tighten the load, and a harness system that can be fine-tuned to your body. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "The Daypacks We Use for Hiking," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tune


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5b


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for tune


Middle English, from Anglo-French tun, tuen tone

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Learn More about tune

Dictionary Entries near tune


tundra swan

tundra vole





Statistics for tune

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tune

The first known use of tune was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tune



English Language Learners Definition of tune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



English Language Learners Definition of tune (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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


\ˈtün, ˈtyün\

Kids Definition of tune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of pleasing musical tones : melody

2 : correct musical pitch or key We were singing out of tune.

3 : agreement sense 1, harmony Your feelings are in tune with mine.

4 : general attitude They changed their tune when they knew all the facts.

Other Words from tune

tuneful \ -​fəl \ adjective


tuned; tuning

Kids Definition of tune (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to adjust a radio or television so that it receives clearly

2 : to adjust in musical pitch I tuned my guitar.

3 : to come or bring into harmony

4 : to put (as an engine) in good working order

Hint: This sense is often used with up.

tune out

: to ignore what is happening or being said

Other Words from tune

tuner noun

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