"bring into a state of proper pitch," c. 1500, from tune (n.). Non-musical meaning "to adjust an organ or receiver, put into a state proper for some purpose" is recorded from 1887. Verbal phrase tune in in reference to radio (later also TV) is recorded from 1913; figurative sense of "become aware" is recorded from 1926. Tune out "eliminate radio reception" is recorded from 1908; figurative sense of "disregard, stop heeding" is from 1928. Related: Tuned; tuning.