from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A melody, especially a simple and easily remembered one.
  • noun A song.
  • noun The state of being in correct pitch.
  • noun Obsolete A musical tone.
  • noun Concord or agreement; harmony.
  • noun Archaic Frame of mind; disposition.
  • noun Electronics Adjustment of a receiver or circuit for maximum response to a given signal or frequency.
  • intransitive verb Music To put into proper pitch.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To utter musically; sing.
  • intransitive verb To adjust or adopt in order to meet specific requirements or conditions, especially.
  • intransitive verb To adjust (an electronic receiver) to a desired frequency.
  • intransitive verb To adjust (an electronic circuit) so as to make it resonant with a given input signal.
  • intransitive verb To adjust (an engine, for example) for maximum usability or performance.
  • intransitive verb To adjust the wavelength output of (a laser).
  • intransitive verb To become attuned.
  • idiom (to the tune of) To the sum or extent of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In elect, to bring (two or more electric circuits) into resonance; adjust to syntony; make the natural frequency for electrical oscillations in (one circuit) equal to the frequency in another circuit by adjustments of inductance and capacity.
  • In psychophysics, to adjust physiologically to respond in an individual way to determinate intensities of stimulus: said (in the passive) of the pressure, warmth, cold, and pain ‘spots’ of the skin.
  • noun A sound, especially a musical tone.
  • noun A well-rounded and pleasing succession of tones; an air; a melody; especially, a brief melodic piece in simple metrical form. The term is often extended to include the harmony with which such a melody is accompanied.
  • noun Specifically A musical setting of a hymn, usually in four-part harmony, intended for use in public worship; a hymn-tune; chorale.
  • noun Same as entr'acte. Sometimes called an acttune.
  • noun Correct intonation in singing or playing on an instrument; capacity for producing tones in correct intonation; the proper construction or adjustment of a musical instrument with reference to such intonation; mutual adaptation of voices or instruments in pitch and temperament.
  • noun Frame of mind; mood; temper, especially temper for the time being: as, to be in tune (to be in the right disposition, or fit temper or humor).
  • noun In phrenology, one of the perceptive faculties, of which the organ is said to be situated above the external angle of the orbit of the eye, as high as the middle of the forehead, on each side of the temporal ridge. This faculty is claimed to give the perception of melody or harmony. See phrenology.
  • To adjust the tones of (a voice or a musical instrument) with reference to a correct or given standard of pitch or temperament. See tuning.
  • To play upon; produce melody or harmony from.
  • To express by means of melody or harmony: celebrate in music.
  • To give a special tone or character to; attune.
  • To put into a state proper for any purpose, or adapted to produce a particular effect.
  • To bring into uniformity or harmony.
  • To give forth musical sound.
  • To accord with some correct or given standard of pitch or temperament.
  • To utter inarticulate musical sounds with the voice; sing without using words; hum a tune.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To form one sound to another; to form accordant musical sounds.
  • intransitive verb rare To utter inarticulate harmony with the voice; to sing without pronouncing words; to hum.
  • transitive verb To put into a state adapted to produce the proper sounds; to harmonize, to cause to be in tune; to correct the tone of.
  • transitive verb To give tone to; to attune; to adapt in style of music; to make harmonious.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, variant of tone, tone; see tone.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English tune, from Old French ton, from Latin tonus, from Ancient Greek τονός (tonos, "a tone"); see tone, of which tune is a doublet.


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  • "--to tune in. Wireless Teleg., to adjust the frequency of (a wireless receiving apparatus) to that of a particular sending station fr. which messages are to be received."

    December 14, 2006