Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Music In the tempo originally designated; resuming the initial tempo of a section or movement after a specified deviation from it. Used chiefly as a direction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, a direction, after any change of movement, as by acceleration or retardation, that the original time be restored.
  • Various qualifying terms are often added: as, a tempo commotio or ordinario, at any conveuient or ordinary pace: a tempo rubato (see rubato).

Etymologies

Italian : a, in + tempo, time.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • She turned to Alobar to find him executing a little shuffle, snapping the fingers of his left hand while with the right he defined a tempo by shaking the charred remains of her half-smoked shoe.

    La insistencia de Jürgen Fauth

  • PELLEGRINI, La Repubblica Fiorentina a tempo di Cosimo il vecchio

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • Setting a tempo of high-energy unpredictability that would last the rest of the game, Derek Jeter led off the game by hitting Red Sox starter Jon Lester’s first pitch for a single.

    One Season

  • When Carl Maria was seventeen, Franz Anton left him in Vienna, where he plunged into dissipation at a tempo presto appassionato.

    The Love Affairs of Great Musicians

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