Definition of tweak in English:

tweak

verb

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

    ‘he tweaked the boy's ear’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's had the flu, he tweaked a groin and he pulled a hamstring 10 days ago.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jackson was to see a specialist after suffering a recurrence of a back problem on Sunday, while the centre tweaked a hamstring.’
    • ‘He reached over and gently broke the rubber band like cheese, tweaking her nose as well before pulling away.’
    • ‘When another had objected he had tweaked the boy's nose.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘It must be true - we're tweaking the web site to say it's so.’
    • ‘Before next season, the league needs to tweak the playoff system and introduce a refined seeding approach.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to the actors, the director tweaks his screenplay a little.’
    • ‘There have been a lot of technical problems and the computer system is still being tweaked.’
    • ‘In the past, only the most computer-savvy users were able to understand and tweak these key processes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now Rosales and his associate are spending many hours tweaking the sounds to perfection.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Someone else told me a better analogy is tweaking your résumé to highlight the good bits and not mention the dodgy ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think I can soon fix some of that by tweaking the contrast.’
    • ‘There's always the possibility of adding something or tweaking a little bit.’
    • ‘After several weeks of tuning and tweaking the system, he achieved the results he wanted.’
    • ‘He should push harder on some innovative ways to tweak the welfare system.’
    • ‘‘We have tweaked things a little since then and never looked back in the league since,’ he said.’
    • ‘The suspension has also been tweaked - air springs are now included as standard - and the steering modified.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘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 was always tweaked and I looked like a fall-down drunk.’
    • ‘We were smoking weed in our circle when the guy who looked like he was tweaked out of his mind comes stumbling though us.’
    • ‘Witnesses say he was tweaked out and acting crazy.’
    • ‘i haven't slept for a few days which tweaks me out and makes me a serious mess.’
    • ‘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 like how meth – as it's supposed to – tweaks me out.’
    • ‘I come up with amazingly intelligent things to say when I tweak.’
    • ‘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.’

noun

  • 1A sharp twist or pull:

    ‘an affectionate tweak’
    • ‘I gave Michael's ear an affectionate last tweak before releasing it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once there he would preen himself and settle down quite quietly, giving my hair an affectionate tweak from time to time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is simply looking to confirm his recovery from a hamstring tweak sustained in the warm-up game against Halifax.’
    sharp pull, twist, tug, pinch, nip, twitch, squeeze, jerk
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  • 2informal A fine adjustment to a mechanism or system:

    ‘no tweaks were required’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During development, how much room do we have to make tweaks and adjustments?’
    • ‘Each year requires a little tweak here and there.’
    • ‘Such tweaks to the system may help, but they're unlikely to boost German growth enough to radically cut unemployment.’
    • ‘The good news is that stress-induced pounds will melt away with a few tweaks to your diet, exercise, and stress-management tools.’
    • ‘What a difference some text tweaks, minor cast changes and a bit of fine tuning in staging make.’
    • ‘The storyline is decent, basically a rehash of the original told with a few tweaks and twists.’
    • ‘Most owners say their existing systems are fairly sound, requiring mostly tweaks and upgrades.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In fact, it's obvious that the most noticeable tweaks will involve cleaning up the language.’
    • ‘Yes, the technology is still in need of some tweaks and adjustments, but nothing is perfect straight from prototype.’
    • ‘Similar to the ultra-realistic damage system, these tweaks all have a clear impact on how your car will perform based on road conditions.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Is there anything large that can still be done, or will improvements come in subtle adjustments such as the expected interface tweaks?’
    • ‘While the vehicle on the whole remains very similar in looks, some tweaks have been made to the visage of this SUV.’
    • ‘Just a few tweaks and it'll be fine and working again.’
    • ‘With a few tweaks and adjustments (for example, slightly longer hair), he'd be very suitable!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whether you make minor tweaks or major adjustments, no one wants to start the season on a negative note.’
    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/