[ doun-beet ]
/ ˈdaʊnˌbit /

noun Music.

the downward stroke of a conductor's arm or baton indicating the first or accented beat of a measure.
the first beat of a measure.


gloomy or depressing; pessimistic: Hollywood movies seldom have downbeat endings.

Origin of downbeat

1875–80; down1 + beat (noun) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for downbeat

British Dictionary definitions for downbeat

/ (ˈdaʊnˌbiːt) /


music the first beat of a bar or the downward gesture of a conductor's baton indicating thisCompare upbeat


informal depressed; gloomy
informal relaxed; unemphatic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012