Words related to tune

tone (n.)

mid-14c., "musical sound or note," from Old French ton "musical sound, speech, words" (13c.) and directly from Latin tonus "a sound, tone, accent," literally "stretching" (in Medieval Latin, a term peculiar to music), from Greek tonos "vocal pitch, raising of voice, accent, key in music," originally "a stretching, tightening, taut string," which is related to teinein "to stretch" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").

The sense of "manner of speaking" is from c. 1600. In reference to firmness of body, from 1660s. As "prevailing state of manners" from 1735; as "style in speaking or writing which reveals attitude" from 1765. Tone-deaf is by 1880; tone-poem by 1845.

attune (v.)

"put in tune, adjust to harmony of sound," also figurative, 1590s, from tune (v.), "probably suggested by ATONE" [OED]. Related: Attuned; attuning.

fine-tune (v.)

also fine-tune, 1969, a back-formation from fine-tuning (1909 in reference to radio; earlier in various machinery contexts). From fine (adj.) + tune (v.). Related: Fine-tuning.

retune (v.)

also re-tune, "to tune again," c. 1600 of musical instruments; 1974 of engines, from re- "again" + tune (v.). Related: Retuned; retuning.

tuner (n.)

"one who tunes musical instruments," 1801, agent noun from tune (v.). From 1570s as "musician, singer." From 1909 as "device for varying the frequency of a radio or (later) television."

tune-up (n.)

"adjustments made to an automobile to improve its working," 1911, from verbal phrase tune up "bring to a state of effectiveness," 1718, in reference to musical instruments, from tune (v.) + up (adv.). Attested from 1901 in reference to engines. Meaning "event that serves as practice for a later one" is from 1934, U.S. sports jargon.

tuning (n.)

1550s, "action of putting in tune," verbal noun from tune (v.). Of motors, from 1863. Tuning fork attested from 1776, supposedly invented by John Shore (d.1753), royal trumpeter.

[Shore] was a man of humour and pleasantry, and was the original inventor of the tuning-fork, an instrument which he constantly carried about him, and used to tune his lute by, and which whenever he produced it gave occasion to a pun. At a concert he would say, "I have not about me a pitch-pipe, but I have what will do as well to tune by, a pitch-fork." [Sir John Hawkins, "A General History of the Science and Practice of Music," London, 1776]
tuneful (adj.)

1590s, from tune (n.) + -ful. Related: Tunefully. Songful is older but rarer.

tuneless (adj.)

1590s, from tune (n.) + -less. Related: Tunelessly; tunelessness.

tunesmith (n.)

1926, U.S. colloquial coinage, from tune (n.) + smith (n.).