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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɪm prɛst)

an advance of money; loan.
[1560–70; probably n. use of obsolete v. imprest to advance money to < Italian imprestare]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
If Love his wares Do dearly sell, his right must be contest; What gold compares With that whereon his stamp he hath imprest? And all men know What costeth little that we rate but low.
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.
class="MsoNormalMr Thugge is also accused of not managing imprests and ensuring that the S.3 outstanding ones were surrendered on time.
Ouko said the examination of records further showed that payment vouchers for expenditure totalling Sh640,000 were processed in respect of surrender of imprests for the beautification programme.
'It is not clear why imprests were not given to the officers for proper accountability,' the report said.
The fund is also on the spot over Sh7.5 million that was issued to persons whose details such as personal numbers and job groups were not indicated in the imprests schedule.According the report, multiple imprests amounting to Sh10.1 million were issued to officers even before surrendering the previous ones that they took, a move which Mr Ouko said is illegal.
The county had outstanding uncollected imprest balances of Sh66.8 million while 11 officers each held imprests of more than Sh1 million.
The statement added: 'Nigerians are also shocked to learn how some ministers under President Buhari stole N413 million from agencies and parastatals using fraudulent imprests.
Further, the fund also gave over Sh7.5 million to people whose details were not indicated in the imprests schedule.
Ouko raises issues with the outstanding and uncollected imprests of more than Sh64.3 million.
A review of audit reports published by the colonial government between 1927 and 1963 reveals that no incidents of grand corruption were reported then.There are myriad cases of fraudulent imprests, cash theft and currency counterfeiting but virtually no organised corruption.
The governor workers had not accounted for imprests totalling to Sh114 million.