- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of tune
SynonymsSee more synonyms for tune on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tunes
Then he called out “Cherokee,” the name of one of the most famous, and fastest, tunes in the bebop repertoire.Why Comedians Still Think Bill Cosby Is a Genius
October 5, 2014
Most of the eleven tunes on Songs are absolutely drowning in effects.U2 Generously Gives Us a Lousy Album, Sucks at the Corporate Teat
September 13, 2014
With music by Leonard Bernstein, this iconic show has tunes like “New York, New York,” that are part of American lore.Fall Broadway Preview: 'This Is Our Youth,' Bradley Cooper as ‘The Elephant Man,' and More
September 11, 2014
The “Computer Rock” tunes, with references to BASIC programming, were almost immediately rendered obsolete.Schoolhouse Rock: A Trojan Horse of Knowledge and Power
September 6, 2014
Both thrashers, the iPods of avians, able to store more than 3,000 tunes.Uncovering the Secrets of St. Kitts
Debra A. Klein
June 21, 2014
We like a story all the better for having heard it two or three tunes before.The Gorgon's Head
He had heard fragments of tunes and songs in the warm wind, which he knew had no existence.Little Dorrit
He does not rightly consort his instruments, or he tunes them in different keys.A Dish Of Orts
Where the air came from, I do not know: Elsie's brain was full of tunes.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
The tunes and hymns which are to be consecrated for each festival have been already determined by us.Laws
- a melody, esp one for which harmony is not essential
- the most important part in a musical texturethe 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 or sing another a different tune to alter one's attitude or tone of speech
- to the tune of informal to the amount or extent ofcosts 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
- (tr) to adapt or adjust (oneself); attuneto tune oneself to a slower life
- (tr 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
- tune someone grief Southern African slang to annoy or harass someone
Word Origin and History for tunes
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.
Idioms and Phrases with tunes
In addition to the idioms beginning with tune
- tune in
- tune out
- tune up
- call the tune
- carry a tune
- change one's tune
- dance to another tune
- in tune
- to the tune of