n. pl. tem·pos or tem·pi (-pē)
1. 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.
2. A characteristic rate or rhythm of activity; a pace: "the tempo and the feeling of modern life" (Robert L. Heilbroner).
[Italian, from Latin tempus, time.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.