American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. 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.
- n. A characteristic rate or rhythm of activity; a pace: "the tempo and the feeling of modern life” ( Robert L. Heilbroner).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music, the relative rapidity of rhythm; time; movement. It is indicated either by such terms as grave, lento, adagio, moderato, allegro, presto, etc. (see these words), with various modifying adverbs, like molto, non troppo, piu, etc., or by reference to a machine called the metronome (which see). A modification of the original tempo of a given piece is indicated by terms like accelerando, stringendo. rallentando, ritenuto, etc. After such modification, a return to the original tempo is marked by a tempo or a tempo primo. An irregular or capricious tempo is marked by ad libitum, a piacere, or tempo rubato. A change from one kind of rhythm to another without change of speed is marked by vistesso tempo.
- n. The characteristic rhythmical and metrical movement or pattern of a dance: as, tempo di valse, tempo di menuetto, etc.
- n. An oval brass coin, with a square hole in the middle, first coined in Japan during the period “tempo” (1830–43 inclusive), and now equal to eight rin or cash, or eight tenths of a sen. One hundred and twenty-five tempos make one yen.
- n. a frequency or rate
- n. chess 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.
- n. timing of a particular event – earlier or later than in an alternative situation (as in chess example)
- n. music 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)
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) The rate or degree of movement in time.
- n. (music) the speed at which a composition is to be played
- n. the rate of some repeating event
- Italian, from Latin tempus, time. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“After any modification in tempo (either faster or slower) has been suggested it is usual to indicate a return to the normal rate by some such expression as _a tempo_ (lit. in time), _a tempo primo_ (lit. in the first time), _tempo primo_, or _tempo_.”
“Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he wasn't sure how his team would react to the long layoff or the change in tempo from the high-scoring series against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals that ended in five games more than a week ago.”
“Controlling the tempo is a strategy, going back to the 4-corners in college ball, and the ability to do it well indicates defensive skill.”
“In his writings he at first indicated this manner which gave so individual an impress to his virtuosity by the term tempo rubato: stolen, broken time ” a measure at once supple, abrupt, and languid, vacillating like the flame under the breath which agitates it, like the corn in a field swayed by the soft pressure of a warm air, like the top of trees bent hither and thither by a keen breeze.”
“Slow in tempo and often sweet, odd moments of discord in this piece seem to suggest the anxiety beneath.”
“And the tempo is high enough for one to wiggle around to.”
“With only 15 days to go until midterm election day on 2 November, the tempo is getting faster as candidates in crucial marginal seats scour their districts for votes and debates – such as the one between Rand Paul and Jack Conway last night – take centre stage.”
“[WYWH tempo is variable, but other than that, unbelievable.]”
“Later, once the basic techniques are mastered, the teacher introduces the concept of making the notes sound like music by playing them to a certain tempo or time.”
“M.M., or D.M.A. Mastery is singing or playing on key, in tempo, with flawless tone and/or diction, and precise emotional expression.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘tempo’.
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"Wow, we really have run out of names."
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Looking for tweets for tempo.