\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

Palmer and team think so, even if others need to tweak the formula. Jed Gottlieb, Billboard, "How Amanda Palmer Is Raising Even More Funding Than She Did on Kickstarter," 11 July 2018 On June 4, Davis was overwhelmed by the surprise gift of a 2014 Mazda tweaked to showroom condition. Diane Bell,, "When Hoover High cafeteria worker's story goes viral, her 'other life' is revealed," 13 July 2018 Republicans have an opportunity to tweak the platform every two years at the convention. Kimberlee Kruesi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Idaho GOP convention wrestles with immigration, gay marriage," 2 July 2018 Wells worked tirelessly to ensure no shade would wind up looking ashy, continually sending samples back to the lab to be tweaked. Sophia Panych, Allure, "All the Details on Linda Wells' 12-Product, 96-Shade Flesh Beauty Line," 24 June 2018 Lawmakers were negotiating on a possible compromise to tweak the prevailing wage Wednesday but had yet to reach an agreement. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Missouri Senate weighs union reforms. Can it find common ground on labor bills? | The Kansas City Star," 16 May 2018 Does the system that’s in place need to be tweaked at all, or updated for things like new goals? Vogue, "6 Ways to Fool-Proof Your Finances and Save Every Month," 13 May 2018 But there are still things to tweak in the offseason, especially on the leadership front. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "UM's Mark Richt, Travis Homer and Malik Rosier earning recognition among college football's best," 9 May 2018 Despite Zarif’s insistence that there will be no renegotiation, several European leaders have suggested that there may be ways to tweak the agreement enough to salvage it. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "What Happens After Trump Pulls Out of the Iran Deal," 8 May 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

17 Oct 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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Comments on tweak

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a state of commotion or excitement

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