im·​pre·​sa·​rio ˌim-prə-ˈsär-ē-ˌō How to pronounce impresario (audio)
plural impresarios
: the promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company
: a person who puts on or sponsors an entertainment (such as a television show or sports event)

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English borrowed impresario directly from Italian, whose noun impresa means "undertaking." A close relative is the English word emprise ("an adventurous, daring, or chivalric enterprise"), which, like impresario, traces back to the Latin verb prehendere, meaning "to seize." (That verb is also the source of apprehend, comprehend, and prehensile.) English speakers were impressed enough with impresario to borrow it in the 1700s, at first using it, as the Italians did, especially of opera company managers. It should be noted that, despite their apparent similarities, impress and impresario are not related. Impress is a descendant of the Latin pressare, a form of the verb premere, which means "to press."

Examples of impresario in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web May 8, 2024 The storied home in London's Belgravia neighborhood was built in 1838 and was once owned by gambling impresario and zoo owner John Aspinall. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 8 May 2024 Staying in touch McMahon has also talked to Trump, according to two of the people close to the wrestling impresario. Chloe Melas, NBC News, 17 Apr. 2024 Former theater impresario Bill Bushnell, who led the influential but short-lived Los Angeles Theatre Center during a heady six-year run in the late 1980s, has died at age 86. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 Win Friends and Hustle People: Ashwin Deshmukh, the managing partner of Superiority Burger, built a reputation as a nightlife impresario by burning close friends, new acquaintances, big corporations, local bars and even his subletter. Mattie Kahn, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2024 The impresario of the croquet field was Jeremy Tate, the C.E.O. of the CLT. Emma Green, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 The Madison Avenue impresario, who once ran a media-buying operation and parlayed his experience there into a role as the ultimate go-between among ad agencies, big-spending clients and the media outlets that crave them, finds himself — at least for now — without a base of operations. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 13 Mar. 2024 Back in 2012, Michael, a budding Orange County legal weed impresario, and Mary, his housemate, were abducted and driven out to the desert. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2024 Written by Oscar winner Nancy Dowd (who ultimately took her name off the film) and directed by music impresario Lou Adler, the cast includes a young Diane Lane, Laura Dern and Ray Winstone alongside real-life rock-and-rollers Fee Waybill, Paul Simonon, Paul Cook and Steve Jones. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impresario.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian, from impresa undertaking, from imprendere to undertake, from Vulgar Latin *imprehendere — more at emprise

First Known Use

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of impresario was in 1746


Dictionary Entries Near impresario

Cite this Entry

“Impresario.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​pre·​sa·​rio ˌim-prə-ˈsär-ē-ˌō How to pronounce impresario (audio)
plural impresarios
: a person who puts on an entertainment (as a concert)

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