tempo

[tem-poh]
noun, plural tempos, tempi [tem-pee] .
1.
Music. relative rapidity or rate of movement, usually indicated by such terms as adagio, allegro, etc., or by reference to the metronome.
2.
characteristic rate, rhythm, or pattern of work or activity: the tempo of city life.
3.
Chess. the gaining or losing of time and effectiveness relative to one's continued mobility or developing position, especially with respect to the number of moves required to gain an objective: Black gained a tempo.

Origin:
1680–90; < Italian < Latin tempus time

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World English Dictionary
tempo (ˈtɛmpəʊ)
 
n , pl -pos, -pi
1.  the speed at which a piece or passage of music is meant to be played, usually indicated by a musical direction (tempo marking) or metronome marking
2.  rate or pace
 
[C18: from Italian, from Latin tempus time]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tempo
"relative speed of a piece of music," 1724, from It. tempo, lit. "time" (pl. tempi), from L. tempus (gen. temporis) "time." Extended to non-musical senses 1898.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

tempo definition


In music, the speed at which a piece is performed. It is the Italian word for “time.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for tempos
For example, dancers often dance at more extreme tempos and perform more technical feats.
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