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[tweek] /twik/
verb (used with object)
to pinch and pull with a jerk and twist:
to tweak someone's ear; to tweak someone's nose.
to pull or pinch the nose of, especially gently:
He tweaked the baby on greeting.
to make a minor adjustment to:
to tweak a computer program.
an act or instance of tweaking; a sharp, twisting pull or jerk.
Origin of tweak
1595-1605; akin to twitch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tweak
  • Build a wider cup, adjust a few letters-in many cases, a simple design tweak can make a world of difference.
  • The bottom line: by all means use a calibration disc to tweak your set.
  • The government is trying to tweak the system to make it work better.
  • Sure, you could continuously tweak a skill, but that effort is at the expense of other possible efforts.
  • Plan the design on paper and then tweak it at planting time.
  • The ability to tweak well-known characters for modern times makes fairy tales particularly seductive.
  • Suppose scientists could figure out how to tweak the insula without damaging it.
  • The dean can then tweak their recommendation somewhat, and then work out the rest of the negotiable details.
  • After all, a tweak in the federal funds rate counts for little by itself.
  • All forms of learning and memory rely on synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to tweak the connections between neurons.
British Dictionary definitions for tweak


verb (transitive)
to twist, jerk, or pinch with a sharp or sudden movement: to tweak someone's nose
(motor racing, slang) to tune (a car or engine) for peak performance
(informal) to make a minor alteration
an instance of tweaking
(informal) a minor alteration
Derived Forms
tweaky, adjective
Word Origin
Old English twiccian; related to Old High German zwecchōn; see twitch
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
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Word Origin and History for tweak

"pinch, pluck, twist," usually to the nose, probably from Old English twiccian "to pluck," of obscure origin; perhaps related to twitch. Meaning "to make fine adjustments" is attested from 1966. Related: Tweaked; tweaking. The noun in this sense is recorded by 1989.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tweak



Idle talk; blathering (1782+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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tweak in Technology

1. To change slightly, usually in reference to a value. Also used synonymously with twiddle. If a program is almost correct, rather than figure out the precise problem you might just keep tweaking it until it works. See frobnicate and fudge factor; also see shotgun debugging.
2. To tune or bum a program; preferred usage in the UK.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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