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[uhp-beet] /ˈʌpˌbit/
noun, Music.
an unaccented beat, especially immediately preceding a downbeat.
the upward stroke with which a conductor indicates such a beat.
optimistic; happy; cheerful:
television dramas with predictably upbeat endings.
Origin of upbeat
1865-70; 1950-55 for def 3; up- + beat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for upbeat
  • Or you may feel guilty for not acting upbeat or cheerful.
  • He's not comforted by the upbeat, concluding note pointing out dinosaurs' evolutionary connection to today's birds.
  • But the electric-car industry, which is relying on other federal incentives to get ahead, remains upbeat.
  • But no, she was her upbeat, smiling self at the workshop this week.
  • He has an upbeat spirit that is truly indefatigable-even a blast of squid ink to the face won't put him off.
  • Despite five decades of null results and chronic underfunding, he and his colleagues are more upbeat than ever.
  • Strange that something commonly generating such awful experiences should have elicited so many upbeat testimonials.
  • Her rhythms were upbeat dance tempos with strong rock undercurrents.
  • The music is upbeat and the dancers extremely energetic, their costumes beautiful.
  • With solder science solidifying and the laser technology tuning up, proponents of tissue welding are upbeat.
British Dictionary definitions for upbeat


  1. a usually unaccented beat, esp the last in a bar
  2. the upward gesture of a conductor's baton indicating this Compare downbeat
an upward trend (in prosperity, etc)
(informal) marked by cheerfulness or optimism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for upbeat

"with a positive mood," 1947, apparently from the musical noun upbeat (1869), referring to the beat of a bar at which the conductor's baton is in a raised position; the "optimistic" sense apparently for no other reason than that it sounds like a happy word (the musical upbeat is no more inherently "positive" than any other beat). Expression on the upbeat "improving, getting better" is recorded from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for upbeat

up a storm

adverb phrase

Very intensively; very diligently; very competently: and they're really dancing up a storm (1953+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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