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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for upbeat

Synonyms: Adjective

blithe, blithesome, bright, buoyant, cheerful, cheery, chipper, gay, gladsome, lightsome, sunny, winsome

Antonyms: Adjective

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 The outstretched hand from a previously alienated and snobbish peer is an innovation of the current production, and meant to end the evening on a far more upbeat note than the original oh-beating-can-be-lovely exchange. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 Businesses across the eurozone remained upbeat about their prospects in June, even as new tariffs were imposed on trade between the European Union and the U.S., with fears that more will follow. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "Eurozone Business Confidence Holds Up in Face of Fresh Tariffs," 28 June 2018 Economists remain upbeat about Oregon's economy for the near term, though. Mike Rogoway, OregonLive.com, "Oregon sheds jobs for the first time in 16 months as economic slowdown continues," 15 May 2018 Spieth tried to remain upbeat afterward, insisting that some of his misses were by miniscule margins, crippled by gusts of wind. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, "Jordan Spieth has disappointing 75 in first round at The Players Championship," 10 May 2018 BP Plc capped a shaky Big Oil earnings season on a more upbeat note, as shareholders reacted positively to the highest profit in years even as the continuing burden of oil-spill payments pushed debt higher. Kelly Gilblom, Houston Chronicle, "Strong earnings drive BP stock to highest since 2010," 1 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of upbeat


1869, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1947, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upbeat

Dictionary Entries near upbeat


upbank thaw






Statistics for upbeat

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upbeat

The first known use of upbeat was in 1869

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!