[ pre-stis-uh-moh; Italian pre-stees-see-maw ]

  1. (a musical direction) in the most rapid tempo.

Origin of prestissimo

1715–25; <Italian: most quickly, superlative of prestopresto

Words Nearby prestissimo Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use prestissimo in a sentence

  • The rapidity of phrasing in this movement was abnormal—prestissimo, in fact, if we indulge our musical vocabulary.

    Somehow Good | William de Morgan
  • Up in the top story hurrying drips beat, like metronomes, all the tempi, from a ponderous adagio to a racing prestissimo.

    Mount Music | E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross
  • I trust to hear from you not only as fast as allegro, but veloce prestissimo, and good tidings too.

    Life of Beethoven | Anton Schindler
  • He writes presto on a sonata, or even prestissimo or alia breve, and plays it allegro in three-four time.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for prestissimo


/ (prɛˈstɪsɪˌməʊ) music /

adjective, adverb
  1. to be played as fast as possible

nounplural -mos
  1. a piece or passage directed to be played in this way

Origin of prestissimo

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