\ ˈtwēk How to pronounce tweak (audio) \
tweaked; tweaking; tweaks

Definition of tweak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make usually small adjustments in or to tweak the controls especially : fine-tune
2 : to injure slightly
3 : to pinch (a person or a body part) lightly or playfully
4 : to pinch and pull with a sudden jerk and twist : twitch tweaked a bud from the stem
5a : annoy, bother tweaking the establishment
b : to criticize especially in a sly or sharp manner
c : to poke fun at

intransitive verb

1 : pull, pluck
2 : to make small adjustments


plural tweaks

Definition of tweak (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a small change or adjustment We made a few tweaks to the original recipe. Jellyfish collects information about what's happening behind the scenes and rushes it to its corporate clients so they can make investments based on things like forthcoming regulations or tax code tweaks.— Tim Murphy They'd try making helpful tweaks to the way my chair faced the computer…— Lucette Lagnado
2 : a sharp pinch or jerk a tweak of the nose Archie laughed, and Rose, seeing a merry blue eye winking at her from behind two brown hands, gave Charlie's ear a friendly tweak— Louisa May Alcott
3 : a slight injury causing pain … it's worth remembering that Pryor is a more dangerous runner than passer, so even a slight tweak of the leg or ankle could be a significant blow to the offense at State College.— Bob Hunter

Examples of tweak in a Sentence

Verb We just wanted to tweak his original idea a bit. He tweaked his ankle playing soccer. My brother hates it when our grandmother tweaks his cheek.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The ability to adjust and tweak the roster on the fly will be a vital skill this season. Scott Ostler,, "Giants, A’s could strike gold in this mini season," 28 June 2020 The three judges also banned voters from having ballots emailed or faxed to them and told a lower court to continue to tweak the system the state uses to provide voting credentials to those who have the most difficulty getting photo IDs. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Appeals court limits Wisconsin early voting to 2 weeks before election, stops voters from receiving ballots via email, fax," 30 June 2020 The story recounted efforts by Facebook executives to convince Trump to tweak or delete a post last month about sending in the military to quell the protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of George Floyd. Craig Timberg, Washington Post, "Biden campaign assails Facebook for 'haggling’ with Trump over his online posts," 30 June 2020 Feel free to tweak the foregoing to fit your situation. Dallas News, "An unwanted houseguest: A road map to deal with squatters," 21 June 2020 The turning point came in late December, when he was assigned to the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz to tweak his approach and see some shots go in. Connor Letourneau,, "Jordan Poole: How Warriors’ rookie went from ‘bust’ to potential draft steal," 23 June 2020 But since the petitions used the language the court says is invalid, the group can’t simply tweak the ballot summary. Fox News, "Florida Supreme Court blocks assault weapon ban from ballot," 6 June 2020 One involved making the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board more diverse, while another would tweak rules for prospective law enforcement officers to encourage diversity in those ranks as well. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Ducey calls Floyd killing 'an American tragedy,' vows to keep listening, seek reforms in Arizona," 4 June 2020 Individual dietary compounds might tweak the algorithm of how this disease plays out, but the algorithm itself needs to be rewritten. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Does Vitamin D Help Fight COVID-19?," 3 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tweak.' 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 tweak


1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tweak


probably alteration of Middle English twikken to pull sharply, from Old English twiccian to pluck — more at twitch entry 1

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Time Traveler for tweak

Time Traveler

The first known use of tweak was in 1601

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Statistics for tweak

Last Updated

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tweak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for tweak


How to pronounce tweak (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tweak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to change (something) slightly in order to improve it : to make small adjustments to (something)
: to injure (a part of your body) slightly
: to pinch and pull (something) with a sudden movement



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

: a small change made in order to improve something
: a sudden pull or twist that causes a slight injury
: an act of pinching or pulling something


\ ˈtwēk How to pronounce tweak (audio) \
tweaked; tweaking

Kids Definition of tweak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pinch and pull with a sudden jerk and twist Grandpa tweaked my nose.



Kids Definition of tweak (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of pinching and pulling with a sudden jerk and twist

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More from Merriam-Webster on tweak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tweak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tweak

Spanish Central: Translation of tweak

Nglish: Translation of tweak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tweak for Arabic Speakers

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