\ 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 Fashun worked with Charles Steck, interim music director for La Porte County Symphony Orchestra, to tweak the Great American Songbook to now be performed amid the pandemic. Jessi Virtusio,, "The Great American Songbook opens La Porte County Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 season," 22 Oct. 2020 Now, as a professional baker and an owner of Bourke Street Bakery, Mr. Allam’s goal has been to tweak the humble sausage roll into something reflecting his adult sensibilities, using better ingredients and more sophisticated flavor combinations. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "A Childhood Favorite Reimagined," 16 Oct. 2020 The House adjourned the latest special session sine die, blocking the Senate’s ability to tweak the measure and send it back for another House vote. Torey Van Oot Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Senate approves $1.9 billion infrastructure package," 15 Oct. 2020 Cleveland Beer Week organizers haven’t been shy to tweak the format in the past. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Cleveland Beer Week changes format; 12th annual event to be held this month," 13 Oct. 2020 The Sheriff’s Department has a long history of cooperation with ICE — including at one point giving ICE officers dedicated desk space inside the jails — and has had to tweak its level of coordination to adhere to state law in recent years. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "ICE arrests 24 in San Diego in operation targeting immigration ‘sanctuary’ laws," 8 Oct. 2020 This do-it-yourself approach allows Tesla to continually tweak those parts to maximize their efficiency. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Tesla Tells Us How It Keeps Beating Nearly Everyone in the Range Game," 18 Sep. 2020 If Trump balks, ByteDance and Oracle may have to tweak the deal. Zheping Huang,, "TikTok Owner Is Gaining Confidence Beijing to Okay U.S. Deal," 18 Sep. 2020 Guys who like the ability to tweak settings might go nuts with the Autopilot. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Best New Trail Cameras of 2020," 14 Sep. 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

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tweak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 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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