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


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


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

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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 |, 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,, 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


circa 1599, in the meaning defined above

Adverb or adjective

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1801, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for presto


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

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Time Traveler for presto

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The first known use of presto was circa 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near presto

prest money


presto chango

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Cite this Entry

“Presto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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


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