\ˈtwēk \

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

Motorola’s software experience is already very close to stock Android, and some of the company’s signature tweaks and shortcuts are also included on the One. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Motorola’s notched Android One smartphone is coming to the US for $399," 4 Nov. 2018 And that tweak to the lineup did not sit well with followers. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Voice’ Fans Are Outraged About the Battle Rounds Mysteriously Getting Cut Short," 23 Oct. 2018 The historic voyage has been years in the making, but CEO Elon Musk has just tweaked the plans and upped the ante with a bigger jet and a longer journey. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Manafort flips," 15 Sep. 2018 Today, most of us have our resumes online and are able to tweak and edit as needed. Pattie Hunt Sinacole,, "How many different resumes should you have?," 14 July 2018 The group redid his website, tweaked his online ads and coordinated a mass texting campaign to get out the vote. New York Times, "4,500 Tech Workers, 1 Mission: Get Democrats Elected," 13 July 2018 Until the Tigers start producing, all Gardenhire can do is tweak his lineup and give any struggling players a day off. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Ron Gardenhire looking for solutions to Detroit Tigers' losing streak," 25 June 2018 Making the characters fully digital, however, did give the filmmakers the opportunity to tweak and update the costumes. Wonbo Woo, WIRED, "Like Black Panther's Suit? These Are the VFX Tricks That Made It Awesome," 15 May 2018 To be sure, Levi's does get something valuable — beyond brand exposure — out of these events; its design teams pay attention to how people tweak and tailor their denim, both at the event itself and out in the wild of the festival grounds. Adam Tschorn,, "Riding Coachella's coattails: Dior, Moschino, Fenty X Puma and Levi Strauss decamp to the desert to build buzz," 18 Apr. 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tweak

The first known use of tweak was in 1601

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More Definitions for tweak


\ˈtwēk \
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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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