\ ˈtwēk How to pronounce tweak (audio) \

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


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

Without tweaks the deal would probably be rejected by Swiss citizens in a referendum. The Economist, "Swiss stocks are collateral damage in a worsening trade row," 5 July 2019 Nowadays, the app is a pretty capable third-party camera app in its own right, with support for features like setting separate focus and exposure points and manually tweaking ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Moment Pro Camera gets support for long-exposure photography on iOS," 3 July 2019 Since then the restaurant inside the Atlantic Hotel and Spa on Fort Lauderdale beach has been tweaking the menu and decor on the down-low before an official opening on June 20. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Wild Thyme opens quietly at Atlantic Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach," 2 July 2019 Unfortunately, tweaking a boat for sale in Europe is increasingly uncommon in northeast Indiana. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Boatbuilder’s Million-Dollar Problem: No One Wants to Eat the Tariff," 28 June 2019 Monday Night was able to open after a bill backed by the Alabama Brewer’s Guild was approved during the last legislative session, tweaking several laws involving brewpub locations. William Thornton |,, "Monday Night Brewing, Denham Building moving ahead," 27 June 2019 The Pentagon had since tweaked the policy to prohibit troops seeking treatment for gender dysphoria from serving, which effectively banned most, but not all transgender service members. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "House votes to block ban on transgender military service. Bill now goes to GOP-controlled Senate," 19 June 2019 Some unpredictability — tweaking your knee during an important round and never mentioning it again doesn't count — would have helped things considerably. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Putting and prayers: 'Round of Your Life' is a faith-based golf movie," 19 June 2019 This isn't the first time the company has tweaked its color lineup. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Tesla's black paint just got $1,000 more expensive," 19 June 2019

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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Statistics for tweak

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tweak

The first known use of tweak was in 1601

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More Definitions for tweak



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

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

Comments on tweak

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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