up·​beat | \ˈəp-ˌbēt \

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

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 As the illustrious group mingled with investors over cocktails, the hedge fund managers, who collectively command hundreds of billions of dollars on behalf of institutions and individuals, were for the most part upbeat. Anita Raghavan, New York Times, "Hedge Funds Avoided Big Losses Despite ‘Brexit’ Shock," 17 Aug. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Trout is the best individual asset baseball has—for years its undisputed best player, a physical freak who slugs like Aaron Judge and runs like Dee Gordon, and a role model who signs autographs for kids before every game and is perpetually upbeat. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 But in Alabama, retired truck driver Floyd Champion is downright upbeat. Philip Marcelo, The Seattle Times, "Social issues roiling US weigh heavy on Independence Day," 3 July 2018 There is still time for Leesburg commissioners to consider the issue, and keeping the effort upbeat is the way to go. Lauren Ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Protecting students should be a community effort, not just school board's responsibility," 9 July 2018 Rothstein performed several tricks that had the audience gasping, and kept it upbeat with jokes, as well as several prizes and awards for audience members. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Mr. Magic Performs At Library," 3 July 2018 Despite the loss, the Sea Kings were upbeat after the game. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "CdM seniors enjoy Ryan Lemmon Showcase despite loss," 10 June 2018 After the nearly 10-hour meeting, the Israeli prime minister reportedly appeared more upbeat, indicating talks with Putin favored Israel’s side. Fox News, "Israel launches major Syria strike hours after Netanyahu meets Russia's Putin," 10 May 2018 During the visit, which also was captured on video, Soeange seemed upbeat and in good spirits. Prescotte Stokes Iii, star-telegram, "'He's a kid': Teacher forgives student who assaulted him over cellphone in classroom video | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 9 May 2018 Trump himself has remained upbeat about the outcome of the first summit between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea. Matthew Pennington, Fox News, "Trump tweets 'very nice note' from North Korea's Kim Jong Un," 13 July 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 \

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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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).


full of whispering sounds

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