up·​beat | \ ˈəp-ˌbēt How to pronounce upbeat (audio) \

Definition of upbeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an unaccented beat or portion of a beat in a musical measure specifically : the last beat of the measure
2 : an increase in activity or prosperity business that is on the upbeat



Definition of upbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: cheerful, optimistic I'm feeling upbeat today

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Synonyms & Antonyms for upbeat

Synonyms: Adjective

blithe, blithesome, bright, buoyant, canty [British dialect], cheerful, cheery, chipper, eupeptic, gay, gladsome, lightsome, sunny, winsome

Antonyms: Adjective

dour, gloomy, glum, morose, saturnine, sulky, sullen

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Examples of upbeat in a Sentence


I like a story with an upbeat ending. I tried to stay upbeat about losing the election.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The team of 12, seeming upbeat, coursed through a tunnel spanning roughly 32 feet that also included a feature that emulates dripping water, according to Sky News. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Thai soccer team boys rescued from cave reportedly recreate experience, navigate through fake tunnel," 6 Sep. 2018 There were two big developments on May 21 in the political universe of Bernie Sanders, one upbeat, one not-so-much. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Sanders Announces Reelection Bid as Negative Buzz Builds About Our Revolution," 22 May 2018 While some Afrocentric artists did deploy militaristic symbolism, there was also often an upbeat, peace-loving aesthetic to the genre that may have started to feel cheesy next to flashy tracksuit-wearing b-boys like Run-DMC. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, "How a Black Panther Music Video Taps Into an Old Trend," 1 Mar. 2018 For instance, a massive upbeat represents the fourth beat while a large downward movement represents the first. Lawrence Elizabeth Knox, Houston Chronicle, "'Love' is unleashed in conductorless concert," 7 Feb. 2018 More: Pistons' Boban Marjanovic upbeat — despite constant rough play Twitter updates Live updates for mobile users. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets: Time, TV, radio information," 12 Dec. 2017 In all three videos, her mood is matter-of-fact, upbeat, almost jubilant. Bob Gathany, AL.com, "ArtsHuntsville Pumpkin Patch Contest Puts Community Creativity on Display in Downtown Huntsville," 18 Oct. 2017 Tycho’s songs incorporate layers of synthesizers and instruments, techno beats and ambient melodies, even clips of real-world noise, into wavy soundscapes that are often soothing and sometimes dance-upbeat. Matt Kawahara, sacbee, "Grammy-nominated electronic music act Tycho returns home to play Golden 1 Center," 21 Sep. 2017 Prepare 16 to 32 bar excerpts from two songs, one upbeat, and one ballad from contemporary Broadway musicals, nothing from Sister Act. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 18 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The relatively upbeat assessment included a projection for real GDP growth in 2018 of 2.8 percent, up from 2.7 percent. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Philly Fed suggests adding a `trusted contact' to your bank, brokerage account," 16 June 2018 Even before Obama came out on stage, the audience was dancing to the upbeat playlist, posting on social media with the hashtag and cheering to the photos and videos of Obama playing on the big screen. Stefanie Loh, The Seattle Times, "From Ciara to Sue Bird: Seattle celebrities among 18,000 who welcomed Michelle Obama to Tacoma," 25 Mar. 2019 Her soul soared until her spirit hovered just above her body, watching the slow realignment of her moods from bleak to upbeat. Beth Kephart, Philly.com, "Frances Metzman's 'Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Bay': The rules of dancing, life, and rocking thongs in a retirement village," 6 July 2018 The record is bright, kaleidoscopic, retro-tinged of upbeat pop, and should prove a perfect fit into a career-spanning set list. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Upcoming Detroit concerts: Beck, Roger Daltrey, Arcade Fire, more," 5 July 2018 But there’s a twist: Despite an upbeat sound, the new tracks are just as angsty as ever. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "5 ways Paramore mixed past and present at the Lawn," 2 July 2018 Compared to previous call center experience, the environment is so clean, bright and upbeat. Fortune, "Synchrony Financial," 26 June 2018 Although the Irish girl group's debut single had a rocky start, the upbeat tune topped the charts throughout Europe and U.S. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20 Best Irish Songs to Help You Celebrate St. Patrick's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 More Election 2018 Coverage The election came at a time when the electorate is generally upbeat about the state of the economy: 65% in the AP survey of voters said the condition of the economy was excellent or good. Janet Hook, WSJ, "Midterm Results Produce a Split Congress," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upbeat.' 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 upbeat


1869, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1947, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near upbeat


upbank thaw






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Time Traveler for upbeat

The first known use of upbeat was in 1869

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More Definitions for upbeat



English Language Learners Definition of upbeat

: positive and cheerful : happy and hopeful


up·​beat | \ ˈəp-ˌbēt How to pronounce upbeat (audio) \

Kids Definition of upbeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a beat in music that is not accented and especially one just before a downbeat



Kids Definition of upbeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: cheerful and positive an upbeat story

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More from Merriam-Webster on upbeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upbeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upbeat

Nglish: Translation of upbeat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upbeat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on upbeat

What made you want to look up upbeat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no equal

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