Definition of presto in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprestō/

adverb& adjective

(Especially as a direction) in a quick tempo.
Example sentences
  • The final presto measures will leave you breathless.
  • On the way to the golf course, my friend incidentally told me that public enemy number one for golfers is none other than the presto tempo.
  • The symphony follows a traditional four-movement scheme (Andante, Scherzo, Adagio, and a presto Finale).

noun (plural prestos)

A movement or passage marked to be performed in a quick tempo.
Example sentences
  • Pick items that are sedate rather than fleet-footed prestos and floated pieces at mezza voce rather than full-throttle.
  • In reality, these three variations cannot be faster than Variation 1, since the corrente at a presto of metronome 108 is the absolute fastest of all Bach's simple-meter styles.
  • The finale presto becomes almost a topos to the Persichetti aficionado.


A phrase announcing the successful completion of a trick, or suggesting that something has been done so easily that it seems to be magic: just one quick squeeze and presto! A stir fry in seconds
More example sentences
  • When people decide to undertake an initiative, they naively think that all they have to do is go out and collect the requisite number of signatures and then presto you're on the ballot-wrong.
  • The ‘expert’ simply works their magic and presto the bank vault is open.
  • Just five easy steps and, presto the rivers are interlinked.


Italian, 'quick, quickly', from late Latin praestus 'ready', from Latin praesto 'at hand'.

Words that rhyme with presto

manifesto, pesto

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pres·to

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