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tweaked; tweaking; tweaks

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: pull, pluck
: to make small adjustments


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plural tweaks
: 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
: 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 tweakLouisa May Alcott
: 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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
One final more minor new feature of the upcoming new firmware update sees JVC adding additional screen models to its Screen Adjustment Mode feature, where the projectors can tweak pictures to optimise them for different makes of screen. John Archer, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2022 There are two speakers between the keyboard and display, and the sound system incudes THX Spatial Audio, which lets the user tweak the sound channels for a surround sound experience. Dallas News, 15 Sep. 2022 Sandy Rowe, vice chair of the commission and a former editor of The Oregonian, suggested the commission might tweak its timeline to give community colleges another year to study the change. oregonlive, 10 Feb. 2023 Anyone who manages their own Google account can turn it on or off, while parents and guardians can tweak the settings through the Family Link app. PCMAG, 7 Feb. 2023 There’s lymphatic draining, anticellulite treatments and tension-relieving head massages and expert therapists are willing to advise and tweak each one to suit you. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 Bungie issued a regular game patch to tweak Destiny 2’s sandbox on Tuesday, but many players quickly realized the game had deleted certain triumphs, seals, and catalysts. Tom Warren, The Verge, 25 Jan. 2023 Chelsea McGuire, director of government relations with the Arizona Farm Bureau, believes the additional funds could help correct and tweak programs to make sure the needs and characteristics on more agricultural regions are attended. The Arizona Republic, 19 Dec. 2022 Biden can do this unilaterally as well by having the Treasury Department tweak the regulatory definition of a public charity. Evan Mandery, CNN, 15 Dec. 2022
Halfway through the Biden administration, the Trump-era policy tweak has been allowed to continue while Biden has sought to quietly neutralize the border as an issue. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 28 Dec. 2022 The market, though, will probably question whether this is a one-off tweak or a sign of bigger changes to come, Heard on the Street's Jacky Wong writes. Heard Editors, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2022 That said, 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito discovered a minor tweak available with the new iOS 16.3 beta 1. José Adorno, BGR, 15 Dec. 2022 If there were some simple design tweak that would address these challenges while retaining a social platform’s profitability, designers would have found them already. Joe Bak-coleman, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2022 Members of an international treaty governing world measurement standards voted Friday to scrap the leap second in 2035, ending a decades-long headache for computing systems thrown off by the occasional tweak in time, the New York Times reported. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2022 Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke is making one more structural tweak to her team. Michael Schneider, Variety, 3 Nov. 2022 The Sounders, who needed the scheduling tweak to accommodate their Concacaf Champions League campaign, are usually firing on all proverbial cylinders come September. Cincinnati Enquirer, The Enquirer, 26 Sep. 2022 In addition to pumpkin flavors, Starbucks is bringing back its Apple Crisp Macchiato and its Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, the latter being a new tweak to the 1-year-old drink because it's now made with the dairy-alternative milk. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 29 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of tweak was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near tweak

Cite this Entry

“Tweak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to pinch and pull with a sudden jerk and twist
: to make small adjustments in or to
tweak the controls
: to injure slightly
tweak noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tweak

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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