Simple Definition of tempo
: the speed at which a musical piece is played or sung
: the speed at which something moves or happens
Examples of tempo in a sentence
The song has a slow tempo.
The composition has many changes of tempo.
We walked at a fast tempo.
The tempo of the game slowed down.
The dance starts out fast and then switches tempo.
Origin of tempo
Italian, literally, time, from Latin tempus
First Known Use: circa 1724
TEMPO Defined for Kids
Definition of tempo for Students
plural tempi \-ˌpē\ or tempos
: 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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up tempo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).