from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having a fast or lively tempo.
  • adjective Fast-paced.
  • noun A fast or lively tempo, as in jazz.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word up-tempo.


  • She grinned, settled on an up-tempo song with basic chords, and winged it.

    A Light at Winter’s End Julia London 2011

  • Not only does he play a high speed, up-tempo game, but he also comes back deep to help out in his own end, gets highly involved in the physical altercations and can get his shot away without any time or space.

    Red Line: Under-18 World Championships provide a showcase 2009

  • He has a player-friendly system predicated on up-tempo, aggressive play at both ends of the floor.

    Iowa - Team Notes 2010

  • The end result was a cleaner-sounding album, still hip-hop but less underground, and also more up-tempo and energetic to reflect our time on the road.

    Fallin’ Up Steve Dennis 2011

  • But if it somehow breaks this way and he's still on the board, isn't he a perfect fit for the Oilers 'up-tempo game?

    2009 NHL mock draft, first round 2009

  • While Hollis and Kromah were the only Colonials to score in double figures, Hobbs was able to establish a deep rotation again, allowing him to play his preferred up-tempo game.

    George Washington - Team Notes 2010

  • Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire defended the up-tempo system on Tuesday, saying it is necessary to get role players easy buckets and improve their confidence to help him and Anthony.

    Knicks Are Becoming Garden Slugs Kevin Clark 2012

  • On the more up-tempo numbers here, his ardent bawling qualifies as a harbinger of the unhinged but melodic shouting of Little Richard and other early rock-and-rollers who recorded in New Orleans during the 1950s and '60s.

    Review: 'Mama, I'll Be Long Gone' finally delivers a Cajun innovator his honor 2011

  • Leblanc plays with a fiery edge and employs a high speed, up-tempo style.

    Duchene, Tavares top forwards on Red Line Report's list 2009

  • In some ways, he seems designed for the Knicks' up-tempo system—a style he described as "run-and-gun."

    Is Jimmer Right for the Knicks? Scott Cacciola 2011


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.