Dictionary

tempo

noun tem·po \ˈtem-(ˌ)pō\

: the speed at which a musical piece is played or sung

: the speed at which something moves or happens

plural tem·pi \-(ˌ)pē\ or tempos

Full Definition of TEMPO

1
:  the rate of speed of a musical piece or passage indicated by one of a series of directions (as largo, presto, or allegro) and often by an exact metronome marking
2
:  rate of motion or activity :  pace

Examples of TEMPO

  1. The song has a slow tempo.
  2. The composition has many changes of tempo.
  3. We walked at a fast tempo.
  4. The tempo of the game slowed down.
  5. The dance starts out fast and then switches tempo.

Origin of TEMPO

Italian, literally, time, from Latin tempus
First Known Use: circa 1724

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue
TEMPI Defined for Kids

tempo

noun tem·po \ˈtem-pō\
plural tem·pi \-ˌpē\ or tempos

Definition of TEMPO for Kids

:  the rate of speed at which a musical composition is played or sung

Word Root of TEMPO

The Latin word tempus, meaning time,and its form temporis give us the roots temp and tempor. Words from the Latin tempus have something to do with time. Something temporary lasts only a short time. Someone or something contemporary lives or occurs at the same time as someone or something else. A tempo is the speed at which music is performed in time.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: tempora ()Previous Word in the Dictionary: temple treeAll Words Near: tempo
July 04, 2015
stringent Hear it
rigorous, strict, or severe
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears