downbeat 1876 (n.), in reference to downward stroke of a conductor's baton; 1952 (adj.) in figurative sense of "pessimistic," but that is probably via associations of the word DOWN (Cf. down) (adv.), since the beat itself is no more pessimistic than the UPBEAT (Cf. upbeat) is optimistic.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Downbeat — Downbeat, down beat or Down Beat may refer to: Downbeat, the first beat of a measure in music. This terms originated from orchestral conducting, where the lowest point on the baton signals the first downbeat in a given measure. It is now used… …   Wikipedia

  • downbeat — UK US /ˈdaʊnbiːt/ adjective INFORMAL ► quiet and without much excitement: »The actual signing of the contract was a downbeat affair without any ceremony. ► without much hope for the future: »Despite the surging share price, analysts were downbeat …   Financial and business terms

  • downbeat — n. (Music) the first beat of a musical measure (as the conductor s arm moves downward). [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Downbeat — oder Downtempo ist eine Sammelbezeichnung für elektronische Musik, die sich durch langsame Tempi und als atmosphärisch wahrgenommene Synthesizer Klangflächen auszeichnet. Zusammengefasst werden darunter Genres wie Trip Hop, Dub und verwandte,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Downbeat —   [englisch, daʊnbiːt; wörtlich »Abwärtsschlag«], kennzeichnet den Abwärtsschlag des Dirigenten zur Markierung der betonten Zählzeit, im weiteren Sinne jeden betonten Taktteil (Metrum) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • downbeat — [adj] pessimistic cheerless, defeatist, dejected, dispirited, gloomy, hopeless, negative, unhappy, unhopeful; concepts 403,548 …   New thesaurus

  • downbeat — ► ADJECTIVE 1) pessimistic; gloomy. 2) understated. ► NOUN Music ▪ an accented beat, usually the first of the bar …   English terms dictionary

  • downbeat — [doun′bēt΄] n. 1. a downward trend; downswing 2. Music a) the downward stroke of the conductor s hand or baton indicating the first beat of each measure b) such a beat adj. ☆ Informal grimly realistic; depressing …   English World dictionary

  • downbeat — [[t]da͟ʊnbiːt[/t]] downbeats 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n If people or their opinions are downbeat, they are deliberately casual and not enthusiastic about a situation. Its headlines were suitably downbeat and don t scream out. ...a downbeat… …   English dictionary

  • downbeat — I UK [ˈdaʊnˌbiːt] / US [ˈdaʊnˌbɪt] adjective 1) not happy or hopeful The President tried to rally downbeat supporters. 2) calm and relaxed II UK [ˈdaʊnˌbiːt] / US [ˈdaʊnˌbɪt] noun [countable] Word forms downbeat : singular downbeat plural… …   English dictionary

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