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."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Along the way, the shaggy bearded, Zen-like impresario has picked up nine Grammy awards, most recently for his work with the Strokes. Marc Ballon, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2023 The original sports comedy film written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber was seen as the ultimate Hollywood underdog story as Vaughn’s character, Peter LaFleur, led a fight to save his gym business from an evil fitness impresario. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Apr. 2023 Kimball leased it in 1842 to the impresario P. T. Barnum for his popular American Museum in New York City. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 18 Apr. 2023 Cohen, who grew up in St. Louis and spent the first decade of his career working as a news producer at CBS, leads the hectic life of a media impresario. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2023 Set in a haunted theatre in 1935, a group of characters hire a famous medium to contact the long-dead theatre impresario David Belasco. oregonlive, 4 Jan. 2023 The same could be said of Hudson Yards, the $25 billion development towering over Manhattan’s West Side, or of the Shed, the adjacent interdisciplinary temple for the arts, where David Hare’s new play about the divisive urban impresario begins performances this month. Naveen Kumar, Town & Country, 1 Oct. 2022 But shortly before the premiere, the Royal Ballet’s American impresario, Sol Hurok, pushed for bigger stars. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2023 While Bill de Blasio personified the Park Slope dad and Michael Bloomberg the Upper East Side plutocrat, Adams is politics as marquee lights and subway impresario. Curbed, 5 Dec. 2022 See More

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 5 Jun. 2023.

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on impresario

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