[toon, tyoon]
a succession of musical sounds forming an air or melody, with or without the harmony accompanying it.
a musical setting of a hymn, poem, psalm, etc., usually in four-part harmony.
the state of being in the proper pitch: to be in tune.
agreement in pitch; unison; harmony.
proper adjustment, as of radio instruments or circuits with respect to frequency.
harmonious relationship; accord; agreement.
Archaic. frame of mind; mood.
Obsolete. a tone or sound.
verb (used with object), tuned, tuning.
to adjust (a musical instrument) to a correct or given standard of pitch (often followed by up ).
to adapt (the voice, song, etc.) to a particular tone, to the expression of a particular feeling, or the like.
to bring (someone or something) into harmony.
to adjust (a motor, mechanism, or the like) for proper functioning.
Radio and Television.
to adjust (a circuit, frequency, or the like) so as to bring it into resonance with another circuit, a given frequency, or the like.
to adjust (a receiving apparatus) so as to make it compatible in frequency with a transmitting apparatus whose signals are to be received.
to adjust (a receiving apparatus) so as to receive the signals of a particular transmitting station.
to put into or cause to be in a receptive condition, mood, etc.; bring into harmony or agreement.
to utter, sound, or express musically.
to play upon (a lyre).
verb (used without object), tuned, tuning.
to put a musical instrument in tune (often followed by up ).
to give forth a musical sound.
to be in harmony or accord; become responsive.
Verb phrases
tune in, to adjust a radio or television set so as to receive (signals, a particular station, etc.).
tune out,
to adjust a radio or television set so as to stop or avoid receiving (a station or channel).
Slang. to stop paying attention to a person, situation, etc.
tune up,
to cause a group of musical instruments to be brought to the same pitch.
to begin to sing.
to bring into proper operating order, as a motor: Before starting on our trip we should have the car tuned up.
call the tune, to decide matters of policy; control: He was technically running the business, but his father still called the tune.
change one's tune, to reverse one's views; change one's mind: She changed her tune about children when she married and had her own.
sing a different tune, to be forced to change one's ways, attitude, behavior, etc.: He will sing a different tune when he has to earn his own money.
to the tune of, Informal. in or about the amount of: In order to expand, they will need capital to the tune of six million dollars.

1350–1400; Middle English (noun); unexplained variant of tone

mistune, verb, mistuned, mistuning.
nontuned, adjective
retune, verb (used with object), retuned, retuning.
undertune, noun
undertune, verb (used with object), undertuned, undertuning.
untuned, adjective
well-tuned, adjective

14. harmonize, balance. 17. chime.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


[toon, tyoon]
Thomas James ("Tommy") born 1939, U.S. dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, and director.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tune
World English Dictionary
tune (tjuːn)
1.  a melody, esp one for which harmony is not essential
2.  the most important part in a musical texture: the cello has the tune at that point
3.  the condition of producing accurately pitched notes, intervals, etc (esp in the phrases in tune, out of tune): he can't sing in tune
4.  accurate correspondence of pitch and intonation between instruments (esp in the phrases in tune, out of tune): the violin is not in tune with the piano
5.  the correct adjustment of a radio, television, or some other electronic circuit with respect to the required frequency (esp in the phrases in tune, out of tune)
6.  a frame of mind; disposition or mood
7.  obsolete a musical sound; note
8.  call the tune to be in control of the proceedings
9.  change one's tune, sing another tune, sing another a different tune to alter one's attitude or tone of speech
10.  informal to the tune of to the amount or extent of: costs to the tune of a hundred pounds
vb (often foll by up)
11.  to adjust (a musical instrument or a changeable part of one) to a certain pitch
12.  to adjust (a note, etc) so as to bring it into harmony or concord
13.  (tr) to adapt or adjust (oneself); attune: to tune oneself to a slower life
14.  to make fine adjustments to (an engine, machine, etc) to obtain optimum performance
15.  electronics to adjust (one or more circuits) for resonance at a desired frequency
16.  obsolete to utter (something) musically or in the form of a melody; sing
17.  slang (South African) tune someone grief to annoy or harass someone
[C14: variant of tone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., "a musical sound, a succession of musical notes," unexplained variant of tone. Meaning "state of being in proper pitch" is from mid-15c.; the verb in this sense is recorded from c.1500. Non-musical meaning "to adjust an organ or receiver" is recorded from 1887. Verbal
phrase tune in in reference to radio (later also TV) is recorded from 1913; figurative sense of "become aware" is recorded from 1926. Tune out "to eliminate radio reception" is recorded from 1908; fig. sense of "disregard, stop heeding" is from 1928. Tunesmith is a U.S. colloquial coinage first recorded 1926.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

tune definition

(From musical, possibly via automotive, usage) To optimise a program or system for a particular environment, especially by adjusting numerical parameters designed as hooks for tuning, e.g. by changing "#define" lines in C. One may "tune for time" (fastest execution), "tune for space" (least memory use), or "tune for configuration" (most efficient use of hardware).
See bum, hot spot, hand-hacking.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with tune, also see call the tune; carry a tune; change one's tune; dance to another tune; in tune; to the tune of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature