To "tune" something is to adjust it or work on it so that it’s better than it was before.
- Theresa had her car tuned by a mechanic. He changed the spark plugs, checked the timing, and changed the oil and the filters.
- Bob’s car hasn’t been tuned in a while. It needs to be tuned. (The word "tune" is passive in these sentences.)
- Pedro knows how to tune his guitar by ear.
- I can tune my guitar, but I need a tuner in order to get it right.
- The school hired someone to tune the piano in the basement. It’s out of tune.
To "tune in" is to pay close attention to something; to "tune out" is to try not to listen:
- The people in the audience really tuned in to the speaker’s message.
- Make sure you tune in tomorrow to learn the latest news. (The phrase "tune in" is often used for television.)
- It was hard to tune out all the noise that was coming from the other room.
The word "tune" is also synonymous with the word "song."
- I heard a good tune on the radio the other day.
- This is a great tune.
- They were playing bad tunes at the party, so we left.
- It’s too quiet in here. Turn on some tunes.
If a person is "in tune" with something, that means he or she understands it.
- The owner of the company is not in tune with the employees who work for him. (He doesn’t understand them.)
- Jessica says she feels in tune with her body. (She understand what her body needs.)
- Young people these days are more in tune with politics and world events than the young people of years past.
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This page was published on April 24, 2017.