tweak

verb
\ 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

tweak

noun
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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Athletics: Oakland could do little more than tweak its bullpen and be set for 2020. BostonGlobe.com, "AL East," 9 Nov. 2019 Two areas of Dilrosun's game which need tweaking are his passing and decision-making. SI.com, "Javairo Dilrosun: 5 Things to Know About the Chelsea & Liverpool Target Who's Thriving in Germany," 4 Nov. 2019 In the second quarter of that game against the Raptors, starting Bucks guard Wesley Matthews drove on Serge Ibaka but stepped on Ibaka's foot, tweaking his right ankle and sitting out the rest of the night. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deep Bucks bench among the most prolific, productive in NBA," 3 Nov. 2019 That same reading Wednesday was celebrated by the Trump Commerce Department, which issued a statement that highlighted other achievements and tweaked the media. Christine Romans, CNN, "Christine Romans: The economy is not as supercharged as Trump promised. But it might not matter," 31 Oct. 2019 In 1988, Saucy and Darrel Broek, the manager since 1984, purchased the restaurant from Max and tweaked the name to Café Maxx. Claire Perez, sun-sentinel.com, "Café Maxx greets fall with duck breast and apples," 31 Oct. 2019 One of Ross’ first moves may involve tweaking the coaching staff. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "As the next manager, David Ross will bring a no-nonsense style to Cubs team that lacked accountability," 23 Oct. 2019 At this stage, our desulfurization method has not yet been used to refine large quantities of fuel, so next steps involve implementing engineering solutions and tweaking the chemistry for scale-up. Anton Alexandrovich Toutov, The Conversation, "Sulfur pollution from coal and gas is insanely bad – but a new chemistry innovation could clean it up," 23 Oct. 2019 There were also noticeable epigenetic changes, which is when environmental factors tweak the genome just a bit. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Your Brain on Space," 23 Oct. 2019

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

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

Noun

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tweak

Verb

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

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tweak

The first known use of tweak was in 1601

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More Definitions for tweak

tweak

verb
How to pronounce tweak (audio)

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

tweak

noun

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

tweak

verb
\ 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.

tweak

noun

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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