presto

1 of 3

interjection

pres·​to ˈpre-(ˌ)stō How to pronounce presto (audio)
used to indicate the sudden appearance or occurrence of something often as if by magic

presto

2 of 3

adverb or adjective

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

presto

3 of 3

noun

plural prestos
: a presto musical passage or movement

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
Noun
Throw it on alongside your favorite ambient record and presto: instant Burial. Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 6 Nov. 2023 The presto of the third was kept extra-presto, with beguiling feints (or faints?) of volume in the repeating theme of the strings. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 13 May 2023 Instead, the league commissioner or president can feed all the key factors into something like ChatGPT, request a four- or five-year option, and presto, the perfect collective agreement will pop up in less than 60 seconds. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2023 Alternatively, just double the tax, and presto, there is your tip! San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'presto.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Interjection

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of presto was circa 1599

Dictionary Entries Near presto

Cite this Entry

“Presto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presto. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

presto

adverb or adjective
pres·​to
ˈpres-tō
1
: suddenly as if by magic
a wave of the hand and, presto, it's gone
2
: at a rapid tempo
used as a direction in music

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