American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adv. In as fast a tempo as possible. Used chiefly as a direction.
- n. A prestissimo passage or movement.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In music, very quickly; in the most rapid tempo.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adv. (Mus.) Very quickly; with great rapidity.
- adj. (of tempo) as fast as possible
- adv. extremely fast; as fast as possible
- From Italian prestissimo. (Wiktionary)
- Italian, superlative of presto, presto; see presto. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Once, while I was playing a piece called " Run Run, " he stopped me, got down on all fours, and crawled around the room prestissimo .”
“As staged here, prestissimo, it's a Darwinian contest for center stage.”
“And as finally, the boy had won a round of plaudits for the manner in which he kept each muscle of the body in full exercise whilst dancing, so now the jester, bidding the flute-girl quicken the time (presto! presto! prestissimo!), fell to capering madly, tossing legs and arms and head together, until he was fairly tired out, and threw himself dead beat upon the sofa, gasping:”
“A splendid, sixteenfold error in multiplication which gives so much beauty to our awakening and makes life begin again on a different scale, like those great changes of rhythm which, in music, mean that in an andante a quaver has the same duration as a minim in a prestissimo, and which are unknown in our waking state.”
“Toothaches can play it staccato, glissando, accelerando, prestissimo, and above all fortissimo.”
“Ditto, for concealing a lover in a closet, and the sudden appearance of the father, guardian, or husband, as the case may be -- a _prestissimo_ movement, with an agitated _cadenza_.”
“I see Gaetano: will be back again _prestissimo! _ ”
“No sooner is one strain ended than it is suddenly taken up again in the _prestissimo_ time and "slowed" down to the same dismal conclusion.”
“-- He said, _con strepito_, "Den pring up te Tinner _prestissimo_, I am de gombany.”
“First Act is good; the Second is the best; but the Third is like the last figure in an after-supper early-in-the-morning Lancers, ending in a whirligig _galop_, when everything is fast and furious, and just the tune and its measure taken _prestissimo_ and _fortissimo_ keep the couples going till everybody is breathless and exhausted.”
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