Er3+ and Er3+/Yb3+ doped zinc tellurite (ZnO/TeO2) glasses were prepared using melt quenching technique. Spectroscopic properties of the glasses were studied by absorption spectroscopy, luminescence spectroscopy, and color chromaticity coordinates (CIE-1931) measurements. Upconverted-emission intensities and the CIE-1931 coordinates were strongly affected by the presence of Yb3+ ion, as well as the excitation power density of 975 nm laser light. Effect of temperature on green upconverted-emissions from two thermally coupled H-2(11/2) and S-4(3/2) levels of Er3+ ions were measured and fluorescence intensity ratio technique was applied to investigate the temperature sensing properties. High sensitivity and short response time properties make ZnO/TeO2 glasses a very good candidate for non-contact optical temperature sensor applications. The maximum sensitivity of the glasses doped with Er3+ and Er3+/Yb3+ were found to be 72 x 10(-4) K-1 and 120 x 10(-4) K-1 at 429 K, respectively which are much higher than previously reported temperature sensors based on Er3+ ion doped materials. Hence, Er3+/Yb3+ doped zinc-tellurite glass can be more suitable than that of doped with Er3+ ions only for color tunable solid-state lighting and non-contact optical thermometry applications. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.