\ 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 uptune 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 Want to fine-tune which apps refresh in the background (and drain your battery in the process)? Brian Barrett, Wired, "How to Set Up Your New iPhone," 25 Dec. 2020 The preseason also offers the chance for the Wolves to fine-tune their pregame routine and get used to playing without fans — something many of them didn't get to do last year since the Wolves didn't qualify for the NBA restart in Florida. Chris Hine, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders reaches out for COVID advice," 12 Dec. 2020 Companies, states, public health departments and Department of Defense logistics experts are running tabletop exercises to fine-tune the process, Perna said. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "HHS secretary asks Americans to stay on guard at Thanksgiving as officials prepare for COVID vaccine rollout," 24 Nov. 2020 Managing sleep is a crucial component of the race, with some skippers working with university researchers to fine-tune their strategies. Stephane Mahe, National Geographic, "Meet the fearless women sailors taking on the ‘Everest of the seas’," 13 Nov. 2020 Usually, those games allow the offense/defense to fine-tune everything and be in game-shape going into the conference games. oregonlive, "Oregon State mailbag: Should Tristan Gebbia start, why not pressure Washington State’s quarterback, what’s up with Nick Rolovich?," 10 Nov. 2020 And by 1995, biotech giant Genentech joined forces with IDEC to fine-tune the drug. Fortune, "Why we shouldn’t give up on bipartisanship, even now," 3 Nov. 2020 For Brother Martin, that means finding ways to fine-tune an already productive offense. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "High-scoring Brother Martin seeks improvement as it readies for Rummel," 23 Oct. 2020 Beaver requested a delay to fine tune the zoning request, not to scale it down or change the proposal because of the opposition, said Beaver’s attorney Eric Douthit. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, "'Don’t leave it to Beaver': Residents protest planned gravel pit at Noblesville City Hall," 20 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The network occasionally gains ground on its competitors in the short-run as casual viewers tune into CNN during intense periods of breaking news. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "CNN Ratings Surge as Network Boss’s Fate Is Uncertain," 13 Dec. 2020 Its engineers have worked with carriers for decades to tune their systems and make sure everything works in sync. Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.com, "Apple’s Greatest Chip Challenge: Replacing Qualcomm Modems," 11 Dec. 2020 To tune into Jefacon, simply visit www.smashboxjefacon.com anytime on Saturday, December 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST. Blake Newby, Essence, "Smashbox Cosmetics Is Hosting Its First-Ever 'Jefacon' And It's Amplifying Afro-Latina Voices," 4 Dec. 2020 There are also five driving modes to tune: Calma, Pura, Energica, Furiosa, and Carattere. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, "1873-HP Pininfarina Battista EV Undergoes High-Speed Testing," 2 Dec. 2020 The platform also allows fans to tune into content in a browser window without plugins or downloads. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Executive Turntable: Deadmau5 Lords Over Livestream Startup, WEA Has New President," 20 Nov. 2020 Humming to yourself, or training your ear to tune into a different sound (the sizzle of the grill, the clanging of the plates) is worth a try. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Chef whistling is a real kitchen nightmare," 18 Nov. 2020 Humming to yourself, or training your ear to tune into a different sound (the sizzle of the grill, the clanging of the plates) is worth a try. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Chef whistling is a real kitchen nightmare," 18 Nov. 2020 Humming to yourself, or training your ear to tune into a different sound (the sizzle of the grill, the clanging of the plates) is worth a try. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Chef’s constant whistling causes kitchen nightmare," 18 Nov. 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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tune. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tune


How to pronounce tune (audio)

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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Comments on tune

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