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[pre-stis-uh-moh; Italian pre-stees-see-maw] /prɛˈstɪs əˌmoʊ; Italian prɛˈstis siˌmɔ/
(a musical direction) in the most rapid tempo.
Origin of prestissimo
1715-25; < Italian: most quickly, superlative of presto presto Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prestissimo
Historical Examples
  • Sebastiano quickened the time till he was playing it prestissimo.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens
  • All this leads to a prestissimo finale of startling splendour.

    Franz Liszt James Huneker
  • Presto, prestissimo, vivacissimo, and prestissimo possibile—the most rapid tempo possible.

  • When one dies them, four or five times a week, he longs to hasten the course of events, to change the Andante to a prestissimo.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • Here the baby was kissed crescendo, prestissimo, till he laughed more than ever.

    The Judgment of Eve

    May Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for prestissimo


adjective, adverb
to be played as fast as possible
noun (pl) -mos
a piece or passage directed to be played in this way
Word Origin
C18: from Italian: very quickly, from presto fast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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