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See more synonyms for tweak on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to pinch and pull with a jerk and twist: to tweak someone's ear; to tweak someone's nose.
  2. to pull or pinch the nose of, especially gently: He tweaked the baby on greeting.
  3. to make a minor adjustment to: to tweak a computer program.
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  1. an act or instance of tweaking; a sharp, twisting pull or jerk.
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Origin of tweak

First recorded in 1595–1605; akin to twitch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

twist, tease, pinch, jerk, pluck, pull

Examples from the Web for tweaked

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Returning swiftly to the castle, she tweaked the giant's big toe.

  • "Yes, grandpapa," Miriam answered meekly, and tweaked Helen's toe.

    Moor Fires

    E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

  • He tweaked the string and his tweak was met with uncompromising resistance.

  • But not a feather was tweaked out, or even disturbed, that I could see.


    John Burroughs

  • Finally one, bolder than the rest, came up and tweaked her sleeve.

    The Four Corners in Japan

    Amy Ella Blanchard

British Dictionary definitions for tweaked


verb (tr)
  1. to twist, jerk, or pinch with a sharp or sudden movementto tweak someone's nose
  2. motor racing slang to tune (a car or engine) for peak performance
  3. informal to make a minor alteration
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  1. an instance of tweaking
  2. informal a minor alteration
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Derived Formstweaky, 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

Word Origin and History for tweaked



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper