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.

1865–70; 1950–55 for def 3; up- + beat

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World English Dictionary
upbeat (ˈʌpˌbiːt)
1.  music
 a.  a usually unaccented beat, esp the last in a bar
 b.  Compare downbeat the upward gesture of a conductor's baton indicating this
2.  an upward trend (in prosperity, etc)
3.  informal marked by cheerfulness or optimism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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 no, she was her upbeat, smiling self at the workshop this week.
But the electric-car industry, which is relying on other federal incentives to
  get ahead, remains upbeat.
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