Definition of detune in US English:


Pronunciation /dēˈt(y)o͞on//dəˈt(y)o͞on/


[with object]
  • 1Cause (a musical instrument) to become out of tune.

    • ‘He scoffs at neo-bohemian escapism in ‘What Are We Looking For,’ repeating the title in a glazed-over voice amid detuned horn hits.’
    • ‘So to sing it successfully I've had to detune my guitar by one tone.’
    • ‘He's working hard to keep the masses off the stage as Dolf's little brother joins him for the finale - Dolf detunes his bass, drops to the floor and hits it - contributing to the mounting wall of noise that peaks with the band leaving the stage.’
    • ‘Or simply detuning his guitar until the strings fell off.’
    • ‘The oldest and probably weirdest track is Pavement's 1995 melange of detuned organs and ratcheting embellishments, ‘Motion Suggests’.’
    • ‘Rough ‘n’ tough, the guitars are detuned again, that unforgettable gruff voice is angry and the drums break a snooze-inducing pace.’
    • ‘His playing is more austere than on Big Deep, rattling off scrapes and stunted scrabbles with occasional distended, detuned bass action.’
    • ‘The second remix of the track, done by Subtitle, skews and detunes the guitar, pushes the bass to the front, and uses it all as the backdrop for the MC's layered rapping.’
    • ‘I'm off to detune my guitar and annoy the neighbours…’
    • ‘I mean we could play as fast as we want, growl a lot and detune our guitars but I think that would just be a cop out to the fans as well as us.’
    • ‘Doom metal is usually an analogue affair, full of throbbing tube amps and strings detuned so low they're practically flapping.’
    • ‘For the first chorus, everything stays as before except a droning organ drops in on the left channel, the autoharp plays changes, and the synth gets detuned slightly.’
    • ‘He raises his fist and, to the sound of an appalling crash of detuned cymbals, smashes down on the Holy Family, scattering the pieces across the floor.’
    • ‘No doubt I was learning the ropes, getting a feel of what it was like to realize the true essence of my life: a non-stop cavalcade of fragmentary jump cuts set to a detuned mandolin.’
    • ‘I had to detune it really low just to be able to play it.’
    • ‘It's a dark and compelling mix ending in a brilliant death disco anthem; Sonar Tim, freed from his usual position behind the drum kit, is on his knees on the floor, tuning and detuning his guitar as he beats the strings.’
    • ‘Nowadays, you can't stand out by simply detuning your guitars to E or soloing faster than anyone else.’
  • 2usually as adjective detunedReduce the performance or efficiency of (a motor vehicle or engine) by adjustment.

    ‘a slightly detuned version of a professional rally racer’
    • ‘Based on technology used in Subaru's very successful Impreza model, the Forester S-Turbo has a detuned version of the Impreza Turbo's 2.0 litre, four-cylinder boxer engine.’
    • ‘Engine has been detuned to run on leadfree - which may cause problems in the long run.’
    • ‘Hinkley's big dual-purpose machine uses the Daytona-derived 955 cc in-line triple, albeit detuned for low-end grunt.’
    • ‘The relationship under the bonnet could not be closer with both sharing the same 3.5-litre V6 engine, detuned marginally in the Murano to around 240PS.’
    • ‘Bruins' team had detuned the car slightly to be on the safe side, and it ‘went crazy’ at the 1-2 shift, allowing Don Garlits to sneak past for a 6.36 to 6.40 victory.’
    • ‘Even at production, people thought the engines were inadequate, and now that they have aged and been detuned, they are unsatisfactory, keeping the A - 10 in the threat envelope for unreasonable amounts of time.’
    • ‘This is a slightly detuned, more refined version of the 147/156 GTA motor, and its easy, creamy power delivery lets you amble at low speeds without demanding a downshift if the traffic suddenly vanishes.’
    • ‘Engines were being detuned and within another year bigger engines were being dropped.’
    • ‘The engine is a detuned version of the 3.2 litre you'd find in the M3, although it still delivers 321 bhp and 0-62 mph in a credible 5.3 seconds.’
    • ‘Having driven the Murcielago last year, the biggest question on my mind as I set off was whether it is just a detuned Murcielago or does the Gallardo has its own identity?’
    • ‘But getting back to Indy, the new engine you're running - has it been detuned completely, is it the same engine that's been restroked and bored or do you not know?’
    • ‘This might have the heart from a sports car, but it has been detuned to produce a - still respectable - 245 hp.’
    • ‘For this weekend we've got two new engines and we've detuned them a bit for reliability and also because of the high altitude at Kyalami.’
  • 3Change the frequency of (an oscillatory system such as a laser) away from a state of resonance.

    ‘diode lasers can be detuned faster than standard lasers’
    • ‘If we detune laser A from resonance the symmetry is destroyed.’
    • ‘One study compared massage with detuned laser therapy as placebo, and the other trials compared massage with various other physical treatments such as acupuncture or spinal manipulation.’