\ 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to emails there were instances when Theranos would remove results or tweak references on demo test results before delivering them to individuals, including with a group of Walgreens executives ahead of the consumer launch in 2013. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, 23 Oct. 2021 The days of endlessly flowing kombucha and cold brew, meditation rooms and Friday massages may be on hold as companies tweak their budgets for a new style of work. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 But that doesn’t mean that Apple won’t tweak the iPhone’s design. Maren Estrada, BGR, 26 July 2021 But large companies in particular are stuck in problems of their own making, unable to do more than tweak their current systems. Joan Michelson, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Of note, many of those key planks are now at the center of areas moderates want to whittle down, or tweak structurally. Phil Mattingly, CNN, 24 Sep. 2021 Considering that iPhone 12’s design departed from previous versions, analysts doubt Apple will tweak the next version in a major way. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 13 Sep. 2021 The company’s plan is to launch two satellites late next year and then tweak the design for the full constellation to be operational by the end of 2024., 5 Sep. 2021 By helping you more precisely tweak the flavors of a dish, MSG is a powerful tool for cooks of all levels. Washington Post, 27 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About tweak

Dictionary Entries Near tweak




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tweak

Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tweak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tweak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tweak

Nglish: Translation of tweak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tweak for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!