\ ˈtwēk How to pronounce tweak (audio) \

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

Paul Manafort is not the only subject of the Russia investigation to have been tweaked by the expansion of Robert Mueller’s mandate, which was revealed in court documents earlier this week. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "How Mueller Is Strong-arming Russia’s Oligarchs to Get to Trump," 5 Apr. 2018 That could mean tweaking Pinot with heat-resistant genes from some obscure vine. Kevin Begos, Smithsonian, "The Quest to Grow the First Great American Wine Grape," 6 June 2018 After the season, the owners began discussing how to tweak their anthem policy to appease fans who sided with the President, while leaving room for the players to continue to express themselves. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. Players Association Files Grievance Over Anthem Policy," 10 July 2018 The second factor is that the deadline to tweak the tax is July 1, Schutte said. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage considers increasing marijuana sales tax as consumers clamor for cannabis," 13 June 2018 No wonder that upscale sports car makers such as Porsche and Ferrari have not only used that combo in their respective supercars, the 918 Spyder and LaFerrari, but both plan to slowly tweak much of the line-ups similarly. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Porsche's latest Panamera offers a tantalizing peek at the coming Taycan electric sedan," 8 June 2018 Read on to learn how to tweak your pet’s social media presence for maximum added value. Saryn Chorney,, "How to Make Your Pet Instagram-Famous — and Get Paid Doing It," 30 May 2018 But there are only so many ways for famous and handsome men to tweak the classic formalwear dress code. Liz Raiss, GQ, "The Billboard Music Awards Are the Completely Nuts Style Night We Need," 21 May 2018 From his willingness to tweak the offense to going against his own core principles by switching more defensively because of this matchup, McMillan’s calculated risks continue to pay off. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Emotional, fearless Pacers intent on making 'King' James' Cavs submit to their will," 21 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

7 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tweak

The first known use of tweak was in 1601

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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

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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

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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