"Quickly, instantly," a phrase employed by conjurers, etc., since the 1590s, from Italian presto "fast, quickly" in a conjuror's patter, from Latin praestus "ready," praesto (adv.) "anxiety, haste," related to prester "before" + -stare "to be." Meaning "a quick change of musical instruments" is from 1610s. Related: Pre-stressed syllables; pre-stress.
Presto! A magical word used by stage magicians and entertainers since the early 20th century. It is an Italian word that means "quickly, instantly." The expression comes from Roman mythology where it was used as a greeting between friends who did not know each other's names.
It may come as a surprise but presto has found its way into English as well. This magic word shows up with regularity in advertising campaigns because it sounds mysterious and enticing. That being said, prestonia is another name given to people who have asthma attacks when they exercise or work out hard.
Those with prestonia can still use magic to perform feats of skill or dexterity (such as card tricks or rope maneuvers) but they might need help from someone else during these performances because it might be difficult for them to breathe if they try to rely only on themselves.
Suddenly, as if by magic, instantaneously 2: at a fast tempo—used as a musical direction Presto. Also used to indicate a quick tempo.
Presto means quickly or swiftly. A prestidigitator performs amazing feats with cards, coins, and other small objects before a audience of amazed spectators. The word derives from the Latin praestare meaning "to be first in order," which in turn comes from the Greek preasthai meaning "to go ahead." As a term for music, presto indicates a rapid tempo.
A comic opera character who sings and dances. Presto is Italian for rapidly or quickly.
Prefix originating in loanwords from Latin, where it signified "before" (preclude; prevent); frequently used as a prefix, with the meanings "before to," "in advance of," "early," "beforehand," "before," "before," "before," "before," "before," "before," "before," "in front of," and various metaphorical connotations (preschool; prewar; prepay; preoral; prefrontal).
It can also mean "with" or "against" (antiprefoxionism), or as an adverb ("pre-emptively").
The Latin word for "before" is prius, which becomes prior when attached to another word.
Pre comes from the same root as prime, which means "first." So "prior" means "first."
In English, the only time you see this prefix is with words that have been imported from other languages. For example, "premonition" means "a feeling that something bad is going to happen"; "premium" means "an extra amount paid over and above what is received in return for a service"; and "prefab" means "building materials designed to be assembled by manufacturers before being shipped to building sites."
Other examples include: preparatory, preventive, preemptive.
To perform anything presto in music implies to play it at an extremely rapid speed. Presto is an Italian word that means "quickly." Officially, presto is the second-fastest rate at which music may be performed (after prestissimo). However, because of the asymptotic nature of human hearing, musicians generally agree that music played at a rate faster than presto is impossible for most listeners to follow.
Presto has been used in music since at least 1575. It came into general use during the 17th century and was often written over passages that were already played at a fast tempo. For example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart used presto several times in his compositions. He wrote one piece with this indication even though it was not necessary because all of its movements are played at a fast pace anyway!
Presto can be used to indicate that something should be played quickly but without any definite time value (like a crescendo or diminuendo). In fact, such uses are the norm rather than the exception for pieces written before modern tempo markings were commonly used. A passage marked presto alone will usually get the message across that it should be played quickly.
In addition to its usage as a modifier, presto also has other meanings in music.
Prelude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1530s), from Medieval Latin preludium "prelude, preparatory," from Latin praeludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from prae-"before" (see pre-) + ludere...
Prescribe (v.) mid-15c. , from Latin praescribere "write before, prefix in writing; ordain, decree in advance," from prae "before" (see pre-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh-"to cut"). Meaning "to order or direct beforehand" is attested from 1580s.
Praescribere means "to set forth requirements, instructions." It becomes prescriptive when used with reference to laws, regulations, or customs.
The adjective form of the word is prescripţial. A prescription is a written order for a drug or other medical product. Such orders are issued by doctors of medicine and dentists when they want to limit their liability for any possible adverse effects of the drugs they prescribe. They can also be issued by pharmacists upon receipt of proper identification documents for patients who do not have a doctor who can issue prescriptions.
Prescription medication is any drug recommended by a physician for the treatment of illness. The term includes over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and pain relievers and vitamins. However, only prescription drugs that are taken as instructed will benefit a patient's health. In addition, some medications cannot be taken safely with other medications or substances of abuse such as alcohol. Patients should never take any drugs without first talking to their doctor.