The tempo is the speed at which something - especially music - happens.
When a song is played quickly and in an upbeat manner, this is an example of a song that is up tempo.
nounpl. -·pos or -·pi
- the speed at which a musical composition is, or is supposed to be, performed: it is indicated by such notations as allegro, andante, etc. or by reference to metronome timing
- rate of activity; pace: the tempo of modern living
Origin of tempoItalian from Classical Latin tempus, time: see temper
conforming to the speed at which a piece of music is, or should be, played
out of tempo
- not in tempo
- Jazz deliberately deviating from the regular tempo; rubato
nounpl. tem·pos, or tem·pi
- Music The speed at which music is or ought to be played, often indicated on written compositions by a descriptive or metronomic direction to the performer.
- A characteristic rate or rhythm of activity; a pace: “the tempo and the feeling of modern life” ( Robert L. Heilbroner )
Origin of tempoItalian from Latin tempus time
(plural tempos or tempi)
- (plural: tempos) a frequency or rate
- (chess, plural: tempos) a move which is part of one's own plan or strategy and forces, e.g. by means of a check or attacking a piece, the opponent to make a move which is not bad but of no use for him (the player gains a tempo, the opponent loses a tempo), or equivalently a player achieves the same result in fewer moves by one approach rather than another.
- (plural: tempos) timing of a particular event - earlier or later than in an alternative situation (as in chess example)
- (music, plural: tempi) The number of beats per minute in a piece of music; also, an indicative term denoting approximate rate of speed in written music (examples: allegro, andante)
- A small truck of cargo van with three or four wheels, commonly used for commercial transport and deliveries (particularly in Asian and African countries)--a genericided trademark originally associated with Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke GmbH that manufactured such vehicles.