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

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

While Apple reportedly cited the executive producer's inexperience, people familiar with the matter claim that the company also took issue with some of the humor written into the show, and Apple wanted a more upbeat show in general. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Sex, violence, drugs get the axe in Apple’s upcoming original content," 24 Sep. 2018 The baseball season is so long and such a grind, to have somebody who is always so upbeat is nice. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: Carlos Asuaje's positive effect; injury updates," 6 July 2018 The Republicans, in control of the White House and Congress, issued a more upbeat statement about the Fourth of July. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "'Our most fundamental values are under attack': Democrats issue bleak July Fourth statement," 4 July 2018 The service was joyous and upbeat throughout, and our officiant, Angel Lopez, gave it such a nice personal touch. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Victor Glemaud Celebrated His Wedding in Palma’s West Village Solarium," 12 Dec. 2018 However, the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s assessment was decidedly less upbeat. Gardiner Harris, BostonGlobe.com, "North Korea calls US talks ‘deeply regrettable’," 7 July 2018 James Hahn Records Hole-In-One James Hahn was more upbeat than most of the golfers tied for 22nd after the third round. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Travelers Notebook: Jamie Lovemark Shoots 64 On Saturday To Rise Up The Leaderboard," 23 June 2018 The mood at Bäckaskog Castle in southern Sweden should have been upbeat when chemists and physicists gathered there for a symposium in May 2016. Edwin Cartlidge, Scientific American, "The Battle Behind the Periodic Table’s Latest Additions," 13 June 2018 By Susan Miller Degnan Harris, a friendly and upbeat player, had early challenges at UM, having been suspended three games for violation of team rules in late September 2017. Susan Miller Degnan, miamiherald, "Here's why this skilled Miami Hurricanes receiver is leaving the football program," 5 June 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






Statistics for upbeat

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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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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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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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