View synonyms for tune



[ toon, tyoon ]


  1. a succession of musical sounds forming a melody, with or without the harmony accompanying it:

    He hummed a little tune and tapped his foot on the pavement.

  2. a musical setting composed for a specific set of lyrics or words:

    She composed a new tune for the hymn in 1872, which is now the one most commonly used in church choirs.

  3. the state of being in the proper pitch:

    He struggled to keep his guitar in tune on stage.

  4. agreement in pitch; unison or harmony:

    The two voices were perfectly in tune.

  5. proper adjustment, as of radio instruments or circuits with respect to frequency.
  6. the state of being aware of and in harmony with someone or something else:

    The foundation works very closely with the local leadership in each community, and is in tune with what they need.

  7. Archaic. frame of mind; mood.
  8. Obsolete. a tone or sound.

verb (used with object)

, tuned, tun·ing.
  1. to adjust (a musical instrument) to a correct or given standard of pitch (often followed by up ):

    All you need to tune a piano is the correct equipment—and a really good sense of pitch.

  2. to adapt (the voice, song, etc.) to a particular tone, to the expression of a particular feeling, or the like:

    For some, Christmas means tuning your voices to carols and hymns.

  3. to bring (someone or something) into harmony.
  4. to adjust for proper functioning or for the desired results:

    The car has a nitrogen sensor that makes it easy for a technician to tune the engine to meet emissions permit levels.

    Examples like this are valuable to us because we can use them to tune our algorithms.

  5. 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.
  6. to put into or cause to be in a receptive condition, mood, etc.; bring into harmony or agreement:

    Try to learn the lessons and tune your brain to start thinking this way, and you'll do just fine in the program.

    In order to further expand our business, we’ll have to tune our approach to the different conditions in different markets.

    Synonyms: balance, harmonize

  7. Archaic.
    1. to utter, sound, or express musically.
    2. to play upon (a lyre).

verb (used without object)

, tuned, tun·ing.
  1. to put a musical instrument in tune (often followed by up ):

    We'll be starting the jam session right at 8 p.m.—come early if you need to tune up.

  2. to give forth a musical sound.

    Synonyms: chime

  3. to be in harmony or accord; become responsive.

verb phrase

    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.
    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.

  1. to adjust a radio or television set so as to receive (signals, a particular station, etc.).



[ toon, tyoon ]


  1. Thomas James Tommy, born 1939, U.S. dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, and director.


/ 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 or sing another tune or sing another a different tune
    to alter one's attitude or tone of speech
  10. to the tune of informal.
    to the amount or extent of

    costs to the tune of a hundred pounds


  1. to adjust (a musical instrument or a changeable part of one) to a certain pitch
  2. to adjust (a note, etc) so as to bring it into harmony or concord
  3. tr to adapt or adjust (oneself); attune

    to tune oneself to a slower life

  4. troften foll byup to make fine adjustments to (an engine, machine, etc) to obtain optimum performance
  5. electronics to adjust (one or more circuits) for resonance at a desired frequency
  6. obsolete.
    to utter (something) musically or in the form of a melody; sing
  7. tune someone grief slang.
    to annoy or harass someone

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Other Words From

  • mis·tune verb mistuned mistuning
  • non·tuned adjective
  • re·tune verb (used with object) retuned retuning
  • un·der·tune noun
  • un·der·tune verb (used with object) undertuned undertuning
  • un·tuned adjective
  • well-tuned adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tune1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tune1

C14: variant of tone

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. call the tune, to decide matters of policy; control:

    He was technically running the business, but his father still called the tune.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. stay tuned,
    1. to continue watching a television channel or listening to a radio station:

      Stay tuned for more classic and contemporary hits.

    2. to keep alert or be on the lookout:

      Stay tuned for our next post with a list of nearby hotels with favorable rates.

      You can see the early stages of the site now, and stay tuned for future developments.

  5. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing tune

  • call the tune
  • carry a tune
  • change one's tune
  • dance to another tune
  • in tune
  • to the tune of

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Example Sentences

Ross, the UK-based physiologist, says that when you’re in tune with the physical and emotional experience of your cycle, you may be more confident in planning your training, nutrition, and recovery, which can eliminate a lot of anxiety.

Its latest project now gives anyone a chance to make quarantine tunes to vibe to—no music training necessary.

Even if she were to change her tune, it’s unclear how she would block it, says Nikos Tsafos of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

From Axios

There’s no telling what the future of the pandemic could bring, so it’s key that brands are proactive when it comes to managing their supply chain and logistics and keeping on top of their brand messaging to stay in tune with customer sentiment.

From Digiday

For now, I enjoyed zipping around town, savoring the sharp steering and superbly tuned suspension.

The band turned back around, raising a lively tune to signal life would go on.

It starts off like any other Lana tune, replete with minor chords and humming, distorted vocals.

“It is the hardest to play,” one of the buglers says of this seemingly simple tune.

We happily hoist our egg nog in the air, embrace each other, and raise our out-of-tune voices in song.

This performance of Bob Dylan's 1971 blues tune features Clapton on guitar.

A fancy came into my head that I would entertain the king and queen with an English tune upon this instrument.

The rhythm of a simple tune plays favourably on a child's ear, enhancing life according to this great law.

She wished that Lady Victoria had made the appointment for the library, which was equally in tune with another side of her.

The melody or tune is played on one of the pipes furnished with holes for the purpose, while the other three give a drone, bass.

How little is it thou canst do when the delicate and feeling heart is out of tune!


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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