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

  • n. Music A melody, especially a simple and easily remembered one.
  • n. Music A song.
  • n. Music Correct pitch.
  • n. Music The state of being properly adjusted for pitch: a piano out of tune.
  • n. Music Agreement in pitch: play in tune with the piano.
  • n. Obsolete Music A musical tone.
  • n. Concord or agreement; harmony: in tune with the times.
  • n. Archaic Frame of mind; disposition.
  • n. Electronics Adjustment of a receiver or circuit for maximum response to a given signal or frequency.
  • transitive v. Music To put into proper pitch: tuned the violin.
  • transitive v. Archaic To utter musically; sing.
  • transitive v. To adopt or adjust, especially in order to bring into harmony.
  • transitive v. Electronics To adjust (a receiver) to a desired frequency.
  • transitive v. Electronics To adjust (a circuit) so as to make it resonant with a given input signal.
  • transitive v. To adjust (an engine, for example) for maximum usability or performance.
  • intransitive v. To become attuned.
  • tune in Electronics To adjust a receiver to receive signals at a particular frequency or a particular program.
  • tune in Slang To make or become aware or responsive: "Nobody tunes in to what anybody else is saying” ( Bruce Allen).
  • tune out Electronics To adjust a receiver so as not to receive a particular signal.
  • tune out To disassociate oneself from one's environment: "The average reader, used to seeing the world in three-dimensional color, tunes out” ( Carlin Romano).
  • tune out To become unresponsive to; ignore: tuned out the children's screaming.
  • tune up Music To adjust an instrument to a desired pitch or key.
  • tune up To adjust a machine so as to put it into proper condition.
  • tune up To prepare (oneself) for a specified activity.
  • idiom to the tune of To the sum or extent of: produced profits to the tune of $10 million.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A melody.
  • n. A song, or short musical composition.
  • n. The act of tuning or maintenance.
  • n. The state or condition of being correctly tuned.
  • n. A very good song.
  • v. To modify a musical instrument so that it produces the correct pitches.
  • v. To adjust a mechanical, electric or electronic device (such as a radio or a car engine) so that it functions optimally.
  • v. To make more precise, intense, or effective.
  • v. To cheek; to be impudent towards.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sound; a note; a tone.
  • n.
  • n. A rhythmical, melodious, symmetrical series of tones for one voice or instrument, or for any number of voices or instruments in unison, or two or more such series forming parts in harmony; a melody; an air
  • n. The state of giving the proper sound or sounds; just intonation; harmonious accordance; pitch of the voice or an instrument; adjustment of the parts of an instrument so as to harmonize with itself or with others.
  • n. Order; harmony; concord; fit disposition, temper, or humor; right mood.
  • intransitive v. To form one sound to another; to form accordant musical sounds.
  • intransitive v. To utter inarticulate harmony with the voice; to sing without pronouncing words; to hum.
  • transitive v. 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 v. To give tone to; to attune; to adapt in style of music; to make harmonious.
  • transitive v. To sing with melody or harmony.
  • transitive v. To put into a proper state or disposition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • n. A sound, especially a musical tone.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Specifically A musical setting of a hymn, usually in four-part harmony, intended for use in public worship; a hymn-tune; chorale.
  • n. Same as entr'acte. Sometimes called an acttune.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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).
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the adjustment of a radio receiver or other circuit to a required frequency
  • n. the property of producing accurately a note of a given pitch
  • v. adjust the pitches of (musical instruments)
  • n. a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
  • v. adjust for (better) functioning


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