Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

"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.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR UPBEAT

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.