downbeat

noun
down·​beat | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbēt How to pronounce downbeat (audio) \

Definition of downbeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

downbeat

adjective

Definition of downbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: pessimistic, gloomy a downbeat assessment

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Synonyms & Antonyms for downbeat

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of downbeat in a Sentence

Adjective a downbeat prediction for the company's sales performance in the upcoming year
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These are all part of the remarkably consistent downbeat on radio stations given over to holiday music. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Profound Loneliness of Christmas," 20 Dec. 2019 Heavy on the downbeats, his reading of that season-opening staple was the only weak link on the orchestra’s unusually lively and engaging opening gala on Saturday night. Washington Post, "In NSO opener, Noseda shows you don’t have to dumb down to have fun," 30 Sep. 2019 Three minutes before downbeat at Unitas’s final rehearsal at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts earlier this month, the conductor was informed that the entertainment license for the evening had been revoked. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Ensemble dedicated to Latin American composers builds musical bridges in Boston," 25 May 2018 Over a resonant downbeat, Abel Tesfaye makes good use of his signature falsetto. Raisa Bruner, Time, "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week," 2 Feb. 2018 Here Weiss’ florid pianism, drummer Fludas’ fat downbeats and bassist Vinsel’s sizable tone made for the most vivid statement of the show. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Pianist Michael Weiss evokes memories of Johnny Griffin," 22 June 2018 Three minutes before downbeat at Unitas’s final rehearsal at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts earlier this month, the conductor was informed that the entertainment license for the evening had been revoked. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Ensemble dedicated to Latin American composers builds musical bridges in Boston," 25 May 2018 Over a resonant downbeat, Abel Tesfaye makes good use of his signature falsetto. Raisa Bruner, Time, "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week," 2 Feb. 2018 The drums take Bonham-doffing downbeats and turnarounds without remorse, across the huge six-and-a-half-minute song. Anna Tingley, Billboard, "Queens of the Stone Age Debut New 'Villains' Single 'The Evil Has Landed': Listen," 10 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Unilever's downbeat sales forecast suggests weakness could persist. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Unilever warning shows the global economy is still fragile," 17 Dec. 2019 Chinese manufacturing data was slightly better than analysts’ estimates, but Friday’s downbeat mood on Wall Street carried over into Monday’s trading. Washington Post, "Asian shares lower on jitters over US policy toward China," 30 Sep. 2019 Adding to the downbeat mood, growth in China’s service sector slipped to a 13-month low in October, according to figures released Monday. David Hodari, WSJ, "Copper Weakens as Hopes for Trade Deal Fade," 5 Nov. 2018 And the rats that grew up in the well-to-do neighborhoods were quicker to learn to drive and maintained the skill longer than did their downbeat comrades. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "Teaching Rats to Drive: A New Model for Learning," 1 Jan. 2020 For every positive statistic the optimists can cite, the pessimists can volley back a more downbeat number. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Mountain of data gauging Detroit's progress is open to interpretation. Here's what to believe.," 7 Dec. 2019 Apple had begun the year on a downbeat note, warning investors of weaker demand for the iPhone XS and XR phones in China, when sent the stock down to $142 a share on January 3. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple: No new product lines, but still a record-setting 2019 for iPhone maker," 31 Dec. 2019 But the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine still maintains a downbeat outlook. BostonGlobe.com, "Citrus growers ‘‘are resilient and optimistic about the future,’’ Shelley Rossetter, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Citrus, said in July. ‘‘Florida will continue to be a major producer of citrus for years to come.’’," 10 Nov. 2019 In the downbeat, despairing worlds of both these thrillers, this upbeat, inspiring theme shines. Gerald Bartell, Washington Post, "An online warehouse gone rogue. Driverless cars, hijacked: Fiction that feels eerily possible.," 9 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of downbeat

Noun

1766, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for downbeat

Time Traveler

The first known use of downbeat was in 1766

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Statistics for downbeat

Last Updated

28 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Downbeat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/downbeat?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=downbe01. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for downbeat

downbeat

noun
How to pronounce downbeat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of downbeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

music
: 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

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of downbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: sad or depressing : not happy or hopeful

downbeat

noun
down·​beat | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbēt How to pronounce downbeat (audio) \

Kids Definition of downbeat

: the first beat of a measure of music

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