tune-up

[ toon-uhp, tyoon- ]
/ ˈtunˌʌp, ˈtyun- /

noun

an adjustment, as of a motor, to improve working order or condition: The car needs a tune-up badly.
Informal. a preparatory activity or warm-up, as before a contest or game: The track meet served as a tune-up for the Olympics.

Origin of tune-up

First recorded in 1945–50; noun use of verb phrase tune up

Definition for tune up (2 of 2)

Origin of tune

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

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tune up (1 of 2)

tune up


verb (adverb)

to adjust (a musical instrument) to a particular pitch, esp a standard one
(esp of an orchestra or other instrumental ensemble) to tune (instruments) to a common pitch
(tr) to adjust (an engine) in (a car, etc) to improve performance

noun tune-up

adjustments made to an engine to improve its performance

British Dictionary definitions for tune up (2 of 2)

tune

/ (tjuːn) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for tune

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

Idioms and Phrases with tune up (1 of 2)

tune up


Adjust machinery so it is in proper condition, as in I took the car in to be tuned up. [Early 1900s]

Idioms and Phrases with tune up (2 of 2)

tune


In addition to the idioms beginning with tune

  • tune in
  • tune out
  • tune up

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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.