\ 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

Other storage terminals will be constructed in Puebla, southeast of Mexico City, and in Mexico city itself, to the tune of $120 million. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "California-based energy company building $150 million Mexico fuels terminal," 13 July 2018 And one of those priceless Tiffany windows was so unstable it’s currently being repaired by experts in Bryn Mawr, to the tune of $200,000. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Philly.com, "To save the world, first they must save a building in West Philly," 12 July 2018 The veteran closer has struggled mightily to the tune of an 8.27 ERA, blowing both of his save chances before yielding the ninth-inning role. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "At 105 mph, Jordan Hicks is MLB's hardest thrower. What does that mean for his future?," 10 July 2018 Yet consumer culture has managed to sell them back to us to the tune of billions in profits. Cindy Dampier, chicagotribune.com, "Mindfulness is not just a buzzword, it's a multibillion dollar industry. Here's the truth about the hype," 2 July 2018 Nielsen recently issued an ear-opening report that says Americans’ music consumption is downright conspicuous, increasing to the tune of 12.5 percent year over year. John Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor, "How streaming is saving the music business," 3 July 2018 Both sports have separate arenas in the People’s United Center — formerly the TD Banknorth Sports Center — a 185,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2007 to the tune of $52 million. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "A Visionary Leader, President John Lahey Casts His Final Shadow On Quinnipiac University," 2 July 2018 Last year the government had to bail out the 21 private companies set up to administer the probation service, to the tune of £342m. The Economist, "Britain’s outsourcing model, copied around the world, is in trouble," 28 June 2018 The sensual urban/electro tune took two years in the making and is the first song that the EDM artist worked on for his Spanish-language album Wut Wut, set to release in September. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday: Best Music Picks of the Week by Wisin, Karol G & More," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Davidson himself hasn't responded to this criticism yet, but stay tuned. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Didn't Find That Joke Pete Davidson Made About the Manchester Bombing Funny," 6 July 2018 Insurers pay Mitsubishi for the data stream, which in turn allows them to study driving patterns and fine-tune their risk profiles. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "Mitsubishi Bets People Will Reveal Their Driving Habits to Insurers—For a Freebie," 6 July 2018 Once the chime design was finalized, the chimes themselves needed to be cut and tuned. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Building the Flight 93 Memorial’s Massive Chime Tower," 5 July 2018 Paddleboarding is a young sport, and each year boards seem to become lighter, cheaper, and more finely tuned. Dylan Silver, Outside Online, "The Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2018," 5 July 2018 Much of the country, particularly at this point in Trump’s presidency, is tuning the daily drama in Washington out. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The messy reality of Donald Trump’s poll numbers," 5 July 2018 These extra genes finely tune the koala’s ability to assess their snack’s nutritional value. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "A koala’s diet would kill most mammals. Their genome reveals how they survive," 2 July 2018 One of last year’s idea, the Mansfield Rule, a method for diversifying slates of candidates, has been in the field long enough to generate some performance data — so stay tuned. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Hacking Diversity in the Legal Profession," 22 June 2018 On some level, of course, the post-normativity makeover is an oxymoron: Each of the five zhooshers are also necessarily judgers, ewwing and yassing according to their own taste hierarchies that are basically tuned with society’s. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "How Queer Is Queer Eye?," 15 June 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

18 Sep 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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Comments on tune

What made you want to look up tune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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