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An advance or a loan of funds, especially for services rendered to a government.

[From obsolete Italian impresto, loan, from past participle of imprestare, to lend : in-, toward (from Latin; see in-2) + prestare, to lend (from Latin praestāre, to give, from praestō, at hand; see ghes- in Indo-European roots).]


1. (Commerce) a fund of cash from which a department or other unit pays incidental expenses, topped up periodically from central funds
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) chiefly Brit an advance from government funds for the performance of some public business or service
3. (Military) Brit (formerly) an advance payment of wages to a sailor or soldier
[C16: probably from Italian imprestare to lend, from Latin in- towards + praestāre to pay, from praestō at hand; see presto]


(ˈɪm prɛst)

an advance of money; loan.
[1560–70; probably n. use of obsolete v. imprest to advance money to < Italian imprestare]
References in classic literature ?
So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd EVE, but Fate Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight The Bird of JOVE, stoopt from his aerie tour, Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove: Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods, First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace, Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde; Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.
The audit said there were delays in surrender of imprests - some dating back to February 2014.
imprests, payments, and rewards (which on occasion mention "revels")', that at least Wynnsbury's entertainments between 1508 and 1515 were 'probably elaborate', since their cost points to the lavish 'participatory revels' which Henry VIII 'preferred to plays'.