presto

interjection
pres·​to | \ ˈpre-(ˌ)stō How to pronounce presto (audio) \

Definition of presto

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to indicate the sudden appearance or occurrence of something often as if by magic

presto

adverb or adjective

Definition of presto (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : suddenly as if by magic : immediately
2 : at a rapid tempo used as a direction in music

presto

noun
plural prestos

Definition of presto (Entry 3 of 3)

: a presto musical passage or movement

Synonyms & Antonyms for presto

Synonyms: Adverb or adjective

Antonyms: Adverb or adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of presto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective In second gear, his singing V-8 seems to jump tempo, allegro to presto. Patrick Bedard, Car and Driver, 29 May 2020 And, — presto! change-o! — Kiner-Falefa winds up as the third baseman. Dallas News, 9 Mar. 2020 Simply flash a smile at a little camera and—presto—you're in. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 4 Dec. 2019 Step 4: Return to the room that is, presto change-o, now a hall sufficiently decked with all of the festive Christmas decor. Ashley Hoffman, Time, 21 Nov. 2019 Two patties are way too much for me, but a server recently revealed a valuable secret: Order a cheeseburger with lettuce and special sauce, and — presto! — a single version of the hour-wait-worthy burger. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, 24 Oct. 2019 To the uninitiated, this process may appear a bit like magic—a wave of the hands, a tap of a touch screen and, presto, a rabbit is pulled from a quantum hat. Neil Savage, Scientific American, 24 Oct. 2019 Someone gets infected, someone gets bitten and presto! Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, 17 Oct. 2019 Just pop a K-Cup in, add some water, press the button and presto, coffee! Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 1978, Eddie Van Halen completely rewired the schematics of presto guitaring. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 31 May 2022 Attach a retractable net to your dining room table, and presto: table tennis! Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2020 Courtly grace rubbed elbows with earthy peasant humor, and the concluding presto was alive with the ebullience Haydn dished out like no other composer. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, 2 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of presto

Interjection

circa 1599, in the meaning defined above

Adverb or adjective

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1801, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for presto

Interjection

Italian, quick, quickly, from Latin praestus ready, from praesto adverb, on hand; akin to Latin prae before — more at for

Learn More About presto

Time Traveler for presto

Time Traveler

The first known use of presto was circa 1599

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near presto

prest money

presto

presto chango

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for presto

Cite this Entry

“Presto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presto. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for presto

presto

adverb or adjective
pres·​to | \ ˈpre-stō How to pronounce presto (audio) \

Kids Definition of presto

: suddenly as if by magic You called and presto, we're here.

More from Merriam-Webster on presto

Nglish: Translation of presto for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!