Definition of Tempo

1. Noun. (music) the speed at which a composition is to be played.

Exact synonyms: Pacing
Category relationships: Music
Generic synonyms: Musical Time
Specialized synonyms: Accelerando, Allegretto, Allegro, Andante, Meno Mosso, Rubato

2. Noun. The rate of some repeating event.
Exact synonyms: Pace
Specialized synonyms: Beats Per Minute, Bpm, M.m., Metronome Marking
Generic synonyms: Rate
Derivative terms: Pace

Definition of Tempo

1. n. The rate or degree of movement in time.

Definition of Tempo

1. Noun. (context: plural: tempos) a frequency or rate ¹

2. Noun. (context: 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. ¹

3. Noun. (context: plural: tempos) timing of a particular event – earlier or later than in an alternative situation (as in chess example) ¹

4. Noun. (context: 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) ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Tempo

1. the rate of speed of a musical piece [n -PI or -POS]

Tempo Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Tempo

temple orange
temple orange tree
temple tree
tempo (current term)
tempo mark
temporal aponeurosis
temporal apophysis
temporal arrangement
temporal arteries
temporal arteritis
temporal artery
temporal bone
temporal bones
temporal branch of facial nerve
temporal canal

Literary usage of Tempo

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians by George Grove (1910)
"On returning to the original tempo after either a gradual or a precise change the words tempo primo are usually employed, or sometimes tempo del Tema, ..."

2. Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of Music by William Smythe Babcock Mathews, Emil Liebling (1896)
"tempo (tem'po), It. Time, rate of movement tempo is classified from very slow to moderate, ... The signs indicating the variety of measure. tempo cómodo ..."

3. The Monthly Review by Ralph Griffiths (1804)
"Cti tempo aspetta, auai tempo si strugge ; £'i tempo nun aspetta, ... Ac '/ tempo perso gia mai nede in drieto: Peril cbi ha' I tempo be I la, ..."

4. The Bookman (1909)
"THE QUESTION OF tempo AND SOME RECENT NOVELS N the various handbooks that have ... It is mainly the question of tempo that marks the difference between the ..."

5. The American Journal of Psychology by Granville Stanley Hall, Edward Bradford Titchener (1912)
"Again there is the factor of contrast; a tempo of 80 may seem fast after a tempo of 60, or slow after a tempo of 120. Eb- hard's experiments seem to show ..."

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