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presto

[pres-toh] /ˈprɛs toʊ/
adverb
1.
quickly, rapidly, or immediately.
2.
at a rapid tempo (used as a musical direction).
adjective
3.
quick or rapid.
4.
executed at a rapid tempo (used as a musical direction).
noun, plural prestos.
5.
Music. a movement or piece in quick tempo.
Origin of presto
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Italian: quick, quickly < Late Latin praestus (adj.) ready, Latin praestō (adv.) at hand
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for presto

presto

/ˈprɛstəʊ/
adjective, adverb
1.
(music) to be played very fast
adverb
2.
immediately, suddenly, or at once (esp in the phrase hey presto)
noun (pl) -tos
3.
(music) a movement or passage directed to be played very quickly
Word Origin
C16: from Italian: fast, from Late Latin praestus (adj) ready to hand, Latin praestō (adv) present
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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Word Origin and History for presto
adv.

1590s, "quickly," used by conjurers, etc., from Italian presto "quick, quickly" in conjuror's patter, from Latin praestus "ready," praesto (adv.) "ready, available," from prae "before" (see pre-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Cf. Latin praesto esse "to be at hand, be ready," source of French prêt "ready." As a musical direction, it is a separate borrowing from Italian, first recorded 1683.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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