\ ˈtün How to pronounce tune (audio) , 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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Synonyms for tune

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tune in a Sentence

Noun 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 Verb 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 African American audiences starving for some truth ate up what Van Peebles had to say (to the tune of $10 million at the box office). Chris Nashawaty, EW.com, "The birth of Blaxploitation: How Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song sparked a genre," 19 Feb. 2021 The Dallas Cowboys quarterback is once again unsigned, and Prescott is also likely to once again get stuck with the franchise tag — this year to the tune of $37.7 million. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Six quarterback options for Chicago Bears now that Carson Wentz is off the table," 19 Feb. 2021 Peloton, which sells top-end stationary bikes, treadmills, and subscriptions to online workouts, quadrupled subscriptions to its app last year and anticipates continued revenue growth through fiscal year 2021 to the tune of at least $3.9 billion. Nick Roll, The Christian Science Monitor, "The pandemic took my spin class: How homebound workouts are working out," 5 Feb. 2021 Her mobile home, while damaged to the tune of $36,000, was not incinerated. J.d. Morris, San Francisco Chronicle, "Some PG&E fire victims in a race against time to get paid," 1 Feb. 2021 At its heart, the GameStop story is about small-time traders—many, according to press accounts, young and inexperienced—going up against established players and winning, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a person (so far, at least). Noam Cohen, Wired, "What the Arab Spring Can Teach Us About GameStop," 29 Jan. 2021 The act would create some permanent funding — to the tune of $1.4 billion — to states and territories to catalyze proactive efforts to restore essential habitat and implement strategies in line with each state’s wildlife action plan. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Scrub Hub: Does DNR have any future plans for more wildlife recoveries like the bald eagle?," 27 Jan. 2021 But not even the most in-tune energy in all of California can fix the lack of chemistry between Tayshia and Blake. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 16, Episode 10, Recap: So This Is the Final Four," 15 Dec. 2020 For the couple in your life who have every record known to man in their home and are missing concerts more than ever this year, this personalized song plaque cannot be more in tune. Victoria Giardina, CNN Underscored, "22 personalized gifts from Etsy to add to your cart this year," 8 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now New Orleans has two regular-season games left to try to win the NFC South — for a fourth straight season — and tune up for the postseason. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings free live stream Christmas: How to watch football game (12/25/20)," 25 Dec. 2020 And yet, more than 185 million U.S. adults are expected to tune into the game, and 28% of them plan to attend or host a watch party or hit up a sports bar, a survey from the National Retail Federation found. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "The Super Bowl May Cause An Uptick In COVID-19 Cases — Here’s How To Watch Safely," 5 Feb. 2021 Building the large static-firing facility, which would allow engineers to tune up the capricious multi-engine cluster on the ground, was also abandoned to save time and money. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "Why Didn't the Soviets Ever Make It to the Moon?," 9 Nov. 2020 Kehoe had several of his players tune up over the summer by winning the over-40 Wooden Bat League at the VFW in Ellicott City, but this tournament takes the cake. Craig Clary, baltimoresun.com, "Local softball squad Spirits West wins world and national tournaments in Arizona," 8 Oct. 2020 The need to blueprint and tune an action for peak performance and to file metal parts for a perfect fit are no longer required. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "This Custom Hunting Rifle From Dakota Arms is an Old-School Beauty," 9 Sep. 2020 The Red Raiders will get to tune up their pandemic protection protocols and also their football skills in an easy walk through win. Brice Paterik, Dallas News, "Game-by-game predictions for Texas Tech: Will the Red Raiders improve in Matt Wells’ second season?," 2 Sep. 2020 Regulatory proposals of the kind published Tuesday aren’t a clear sell-signal, but nor can investors afford to tune them out. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Europe’s New Tech Regulations Will Bite, Eventually," 15 Dec. 2020 Drivers could tune their car radio to 89.7 FM to hear the musical program and watch the show while parked in front of the school as the grand finale. Karie Angell Luc, chicagotribune.com, "‘Wonderfest’ featured drive-by holiday performances by students, light show at Barrington High School: ‘It’s a new adventure’," 14 Dec. 2020

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 tune, tuin, tewne "musical sound, melody, key of a musical composition," borrowed from Anglo-French tun, ton, tuen tone entry 1

Note: In Middle English tune is effectively a variant of tone, but both forms are irregular outcomes of their Anglo-French sources (see note at tone entry 1). In the case of tune, the vowel nucleus seems to have fallen together with the outcomes of the French diphthong ui, as in june and puny.


derivative of tune entry 1

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Time Traveler for tune

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tune

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tune. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce tune (audio) , 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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More from Merriam-Webster on tune

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tune

Nglish: Translation of tune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tune for Arabic Speakers

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