1

downbeat

noun down·beat \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbēt \
Updated on: 19 May 2018

Definition of downbeat

1 : the downward stroke of a conductor indicating the principally accented note of a measure of music; also : the first beat of a measure
2 : a decline in activity or prosperity

Recent Examples of downbeat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downbeat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of downbeat

1869

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2

downbeat

adjective

Definition of downbeat

: pessimistic, gloomy
  • a downbeat assessment

Examples of downbeat in a Sentence

  1. a downbeat prediction for the company's sales performance in the upcoming year

Recent Examples of downbeat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downbeat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of downbeat

1950

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

DOWNBEAT Defined for English Language Learners

downbeat

Definition of downbeat for English Language Learners

  • : the downward movement that a conductor makes to show which note is played with the greatest stress or force

  • : the first beat of a measure of music


downbeat

Definition of downbeat for English Language Learners

  • : sad or depressing : not happy or hopeful


DOWNBEAT Defined for Kids

downbeat

noun down·beat \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbēt \

Definition of downbeat for Students

: the first beat of a measure of music


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