Definition of upbeat in US English:



  • (in music) an unaccented beat preceding an accented beat.

    • ‘The song has three stanzas of six lines, carrying four stresses downbeats separated by upbeats.’
    • ‘There are a lot of upbeats, up in the air, which is great for dancing but really hard for an orchestra.’
    • ‘But havoc and harmony learn to coexist, most harmoniously on ‘Circle Square Triangle’, whose guitars punch thick upbeats despite an ungainly note count.’
    • ‘Movement is slowed with stops at percussive upbeats.’


  • Cheerful; optimistic.

    • ‘My daughter-in-law told me he called one day and he sounded very upbeat.’
    • ‘It is certainly telling that Wall Street on Friday was continuing to take its cue from more upbeat news.’
    • ‘As a whole, the tone is a little more optimistic and upbeat than previous efforts.’
    • ‘Considering a lot of things seem to be bringing me down mentally just lately, I actually feel quite upbeat today.’
    • ‘Everett had used it a lot when he spoke and it sounded so optimistic and upbeat coming from him.’
    • ‘Hartley has every right to be upbeat and optimistic about his life at the present time.’
    • ‘Analysts were very upbeat when the merger was announced last year at the height of the internet bubble.’
    • ‘Despite dramatically changing the way he lives, Chris is a positive and upbeat person.’
    • ‘His speeches are upbeat and optimistic because this is the style of Michael Gove, a key Cameron adviser.’
    • ‘I'm not totally through the woods yet, but hopefully this more upbeat period will last.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, Foot himself concludes on a much more upbeat note than this depressing tale might suggest.’
    • ‘If the mood was upbeat it was merely a reflection of the play on the day.’
    • ‘McConnell was in upbeat mood as he arrived for a meeting in Stirling yesterday.’
    • ‘With the crowd on their side they belted out a series of fast, upbeat rock songs.’
    • ‘Perhaps that explains why the chancellor still sounds so upbeat these days.’
    • ‘The soundtrack consists of mostly upbeat dance numbers with a few slower selections.’
    • ‘The manager's upbeat mood reflects that of the people in the queue which is slowly snaking its way towards the ticket office.’
    • ‘London shares ended the week in upbeat mood yesterday, helped by solid gains in oil and banking stocks.’
    • ‘The programme makers have promised that this new series is going to be more upbeat than the one before.’
    • ‘It is interesting that it is the big bank economists who remain loyal to more upbeat forecasts.’
    cheerful, cheery, positive, confident, hopeful, sanguine, bullish, buoyant, bright
    optimistic, cheerful, cheery, positive, confident, hopeful, sanguine, bullish, buoyant, bright
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