Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[toon, tyoon] /tun, tyun/
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.
  1. to adjust (a circuit, frequency, or the like) so as to bring it into resonance with another circuit, a given frequency, or the like.
  2. to adjust (a receiving apparatus) so as to make it compatible in frequency with a transmitting apparatus whose signals are to be received.
  3. 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.
  1. to utter, sound, or express musically.
  2. 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,
  1. to adjust a radio or television set so as to stop or avoid receiving (a station or channel).
  2. Slang. to stop paying attention to a person, situation, etc.
tune up,
  1. to cause a group of musical instruments to be brought to the same pitch.
  2. to begin to sing.
  3. 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.
Origin of tune
1350-1400; Middle English (noun); unexplained variant of tone
Related forms
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tune out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They've tried it together before now, an' there ain't anything but a Fox will run so straight and fetch such a tune out of Turk.

    Two Little Savages Ernest Thompson Seton
  • But, if it has been a dream, how could I have learned to hum that tune out of Dinorah?

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • A very few trials on your part and you will be able to tune in or tune out any station you can hear, if not too close or powerful.

    The Radio Amateur's Hand Book A. Frederick Collins
  • No, no; nothin' like squeezin' a tune out of an ould sow by pulling the tail at her.

    The Deemster Hall Caine
  • And the thing I was spoiling for was a tune out of the pipes or the fiddle.

    Fairies and Folk of Ireland William Henry Frost
British Dictionary definitions for tune out

tune out

(informal) (intransitive, adverb) often foll by of. to cease to take an interest (in) or pay attention (to): many people had tuned out of politics


a melody, esp one for which harmony is not essential
the most important part in a musical texture: the cello has the tune at that point
the condition of producing accurately pitched notes, intervals, etc (esp in the phrases in tune, out of tune): he can't sing in tune
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
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)
a frame of mind; disposition or mood
(obsolete) a musical sound; note
call the tune, to be in control of the proceedings
change one's tune, sing another tune, sing another a different tune, to alter one's attitude or tone of speech
(informal) to the tune of, to the amount or extent of: costs to the tune of a hundred pounds
to adjust (a musical instrument or a changeable part of one) to a certain pitch
to adjust (a note, etc) so as to bring it into harmony or concord
(transitive) to adapt or adjust (oneself); attune: to tune oneself to a slower life
(transitive) often foll by up. to make fine adjustments to (an engine, machine, etc) to obtain optimum performance
(electronics) to adjust (one or more circuits) for resonance at a desired frequency
(obsolete) to utter (something) musically or in the form of a melody; sing
(South African, slang) tune someone grief, to annoy or harass someone
See also tune in, tune out, tune up
Word Origin
C14: variant of tone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tune out



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.


"bring into a state of proper pitch," c.1500, from tune (n.). 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; figurative sense of "disregard, stop heeding" is from 1928. Related: Tuned; tuning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for tune out


past participle

Possessed or practiced upon sexually; be had

[1970s+ Canadian teenagers; perhaps related to earlier British and Australian tune, ''beat, hit,'' hence semantically to bang]


Related Terms

milwaukee goiter

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with tune out

tune out

Adjust a receiver so as not to receive a signal, as in Let's tune out all this interference. [ Early 1900s ]
Dissociate oneself from one's surroundings; also, disregard, ignore. For example, The average reader, used to seeing lots of color images, tunes out when confronted with big blocks of text, or Some mothers are expert at tuning out the children's whining and quarreling. [ 1920s ]
For an antonym, see tune in
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for tune

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tune out