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


(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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prestissimo

Historical Examples of prestissimo

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for prestissimo


adjective, adverb

to be played as fast as possible

noun plural -mos

a piece or passage directed to be played in this way

Word Origin for 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