Definition of tweak in English:

tweak

verb

  • 1[with object] Twist or pull (something) sharply.

    ‘he tweaked the boy's ear’
    • ‘He reached over and gently broke the rubber band like cheese, tweaking her nose as well before pulling away.’
    • ‘He's had the flu, he tweaked a groin and he pulled a hamstring 10 days ago.’
    • ‘Downes was due to be included in the senior squad to face Boston United at Bootham Crescent today but tweaked his medial knee ligaments in training yesterday.’
    • ‘When another had objected he had tweaked the boy's nose.’
    • ‘He hopes to play despite tweaking a hamstring on Boxing Day.’
    • ‘‘The last contact I had with him was when I tweaked his toes in the back of the ambulance,’ said Carol.’
    • ‘Jackson was to see a specialist after suffering a recurrence of a back problem on Sunday, while the centre tweaked a hamstring.’
    • ‘I've tweaked a muscle in my back tying up my shoes.’
    • ‘While talking, he tweaks the pleat of a heavy curtain, already perfectly aligned.’
    • ‘George has tweaked some small part of his left foot, and for a week or two will be walking no further than the freezer for his therapeutic frozen peas.’
    pull sharply, twist, tug, pinch, nip, twitch, squeeze, jerk
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  • 2informal [with object] Improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it.

    ‘engineers tweak the car's operating systems during the race’
    • ‘Clearly miffed, he retired to the pits to have the rear suspension and rear wing of his car tweaked in order to give him more downforce and better grip.’
    • ‘I think I can soon fix some of that by tweaking the contrast.’
    • ‘After several weeks of tuning and tweaking the system, he achieved the results he wanted.’
    • ‘I generally take an evening during the week to pull together everything into one polished idea and then tweak it when I think of it.’
    • ‘It must be true - we're tweaking the web site to say it's so.’
    • ‘There have been a lot of technical problems and the computer system is still being tweaked.’
    • ‘According to the actors, the director tweaks his screenplay a little.’
    • ‘You'll get an email every time there's a new post but by tweaking your personal settings you can receive a daily email of all the posts together.’
    • ‘When we eventually got back to the office, I wrote the story up and emailed it to James, who tweaked a few things and came back to me to talk me through the changes he'd made.’
    • ‘Now Rosales and his associate are spending many hours tweaking the sounds to perfection.’
    • ‘If things look just a wee bit different, it's because I tweaked the typeface and size to make things slightly easier on my tired eyes.’
    • ‘He should push harder on some innovative ways to tweak the welfare system.’
    • ‘Before next season, the league needs to tweak the playoff system and introduce a refined seeding approach.’
    • ‘In the past, only the most computer-savvy users were able to understand and tweak these key processes.’
    • ‘There's always the possibility of adding something or tweaking a little bit.’
    • ‘No project approved under the new system is yet finished, and the process is still being tweaked.’
    • ‘If he tweaks the package correctly in the next few days, he'll have the Democratic votes he needs to get these measures on the ballot in March.’
    • ‘The suspension has also been tweaked - air springs are now included as standard - and the steering modified.’
    • ‘‘We have tweaked things a little since then and never looked back in the league since,’ he said.’
    • ‘Someone else told me a better analogy is tweaking your résumé to highlight the good bits and not mention the dodgy ones.’
    adjust, make adjustments to, modify, alter, make alterations to, change, adapt
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  • 3US informal Become or cause to become agitated or excited, typically from taking amphetamines or another stimulant.

    [no object] ‘I just about went crazy yesterday—I was totally tweaking out’
    [with object] ‘caffeine is a natural mood elevator but if you're stressed to begin with it can kind of tweak you out’
    • ‘Witnesses say he was tweaked out and acting crazy.’
    • ‘I come up with amazingly intelligent things to say when I tweak.’
    • ‘I like how meth – as it's supposed to – tweaks me out.’
    • ‘We were smoking weed in our circle when the guy who looked like he was tweaked out of his mind comes stumbling though us.’
    • ‘We were tweaking hard all night every night.’
    • ‘I am very un-nerved by this and being alone in the apartment with a kitten who is tweaking out because of it.’
    • ‘I was always tweaked and I looked like a fall-down drunk.’
    • ‘Well, even if the idea of tweaking out on malt liquor doesn't appeal to you, there should be lots of local goings-on that should.’
    • ‘We were tweaking out - you know like, when you're either on a drug, or on some level of complexity where you take one degree of a 360 degree spectrum, but then analyse it from a whole other dimension.’
    • ‘i haven't slept for a few days which tweaks me out and makes me a serious mess.’

noun

  • 1A sharp twist or pull.

    ‘an affectionate tweak’
    • ‘He is simply looking to confirm his recovery from a hamstring tweak sustained in the warm-up game against Halifax.’
    • ‘Once there he would preen himself and settle down quite quietly, giving my hair an affectionate tweak from time to time.’
    • ‘Lynn, aged 45, of Blackstone Edge, is chief physiotherapist for the UK team and will have overall responsibility for looking after the tweaks and twinges of hundreds of competitors.’
    • ‘Seemingly reading her mind, he leaned a little farther over the table, purposely reaching for one of her long braids and giving it a tweak.’
    • ‘I gave Michael's ear an affectionate last tweak before releasing it.’
    sharp pull, twist, tug, pinch, nip, twitch, squeeze, jerk
    View synonyms
  • 2informal A fine adjustment to a mechanism or system.

    ‘no tweaks were required’
    • ‘Such tweaks to the system may help, but they're unlikely to boost German growth enough to radically cut unemployment.’
    • ‘Most owners say their existing systems are fairly sound, requiring mostly tweaks and upgrades.’
    • ‘A number of tweaks have been made to accelerate the pace of the game, making matches a much harder fought battle on the hard court.’
    • ‘During development, how much room do we have to make tweaks and adjustments?’
    • ‘What a difference some text tweaks, minor cast changes and a bit of fine tuning in staging make.’
    • ‘With a few tweaks and adjustments (for example, slightly longer hair), he'd be very suitable!’
    • ‘Just a few tweaks and it'll be fine and working again.’
    • ‘The good news is that stress-induced pounds will melt away with a few tweaks to your diet, exercise, and stress-management tools.’
    • ‘Yes, the technology is still in need of some tweaks and adjustments, but nothing is perfect straight from prototype.’
    • ‘While the vehicle on the whole remains very similar in looks, some tweaks have been made to the visage of this SUV.’
    • ‘Is there anything large that can still be done, or will improvements come in subtle adjustments such as the expected interface tweaks?’
    • ‘The storyline is decent, basically a rehash of the original told with a few tweaks and twists.’
    • ‘But along the way, those of you familiar with the series will notice a few subtle, incredibly effective tweaks and adjustments that will alter the whole way you think about real time strategy gaming.’
    • ‘Similar to the ultra-realistic damage system, these tweaks all have a clear impact on how your car will perform based on road conditions.’
    • ‘Each year requires a little tweak here and there.’
    • ‘Should the clubs address the whole issue of who runs Scottish rugby or is the present system workable with a minor tweak here and there?’
    • ‘Here there is little or no help, but a small tweak to the taxation system could make an enormous difference to stay-at-home mothers.’
    • ‘Whether you make minor tweaks or major adjustments, no one wants to start the season on a negative note.’
    • ‘The concept of comparing two players in a variety of categories will remain the same, but I'm unveiling a few tweaks to the scoring system.’
    • ‘In fact, it's obvious that the most noticeable tweaks will involve cleaning up the language.’
    adjustment, modification, alteration, change, adaptation
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Origin

Early 17th century: probably an alteration of dialect twick ‘pull sharply’; related to twitch.

Pronunciation:

tweak

/twiːk/