- 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.
verb (used with object), tuned, tun·ing.
- 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).
verb (used without object), tuned, tun·ing.
- 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.
- to tune (a musical instrument) differently or again
- to tune (a radio, television, etc) to a different frequency
- 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
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.
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