upbeat (adj.) "with a positive mood," 1947, apparently from the musical noun upbeat (1869), referring to the beat of a bar at which the conductor's baton is in a raised position; the "optimistic" sense apparently for no other reason than that it sounds like a happy word (the musical upbeat is no more inherently "positive" than any other beat). Expression on the upbeat "improving, getting better" is recorded from 1934.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • upbeat — UK US /ˈʌpˌbiːt/ adjective INFORMAL ► positive and with hope for the future: »High wheat prices have created an upbeat atmosphere in farming communities throughout the region. »The company was upbeat at its annual meeting, saying turnover and… …   Financial and business terms

  • Upbeat —   [englisch, ʌpbiːt], Auftakt …   Universal-Lexikon

  • upbeat — [adj] cheerful buoyant, cheery, encouraging, favorable, fond, happy, heartening, hopeful, optimistic, positive, promising, rosy, sanguine; concepts 403,572 Ant. depressed, down, sad …   New thesaurus

  • upbeat — ► NOUN ▪ (in music) an unaccented beat preceding an accented beat. ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ cheerful; optimistic …   English terms dictionary

  • upbeat — [up′bēt΄; ] for adj., also [ up bēt′] n. 1. an upward trend; upswing 2. Music a) an unaccented beat, esp. when on the last note of a bar b) the upward stroke of a conductor s hand or baton indicating such a beat adj. Informal lively; cheerful;… …   English World dictionary

  • upbeat — [[t]ʌ̱pbiːt[/t]] upbeats 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n If people or their opinions are upbeat, they are cheerful and hopeful about a situation. [INFORMAL] The Defense Secretary gave an upbeat assessment of the war so far... Neil s colleagues say he… …   English dictionary

  • upbeat — mod. bright and cheery; not negative. (Compare this with downbeat.) □ I’d prefer to open the conference with an upbeat topic. □ That topic is not upbeat. □ This piece of music has an upbeat flavor to it …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • upbeat — I. noun Date: 1869 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 > II. adjective Date: 1947 cheerful,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • upbeat — 1. adjective a) Having a fast pace, tempo, or beat. The notes are easy, but its an upbeat tune and should be played fairly quickly. b) Having a positive, lively, or perky ton …   Wiktionary

  • upbeat — up|beat [ ʌp,bit ] adjective INFORMAL happy and positive because you are confident you will get what you want: upbeat about: The players seemed upbeat about their chances of winning …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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