noun Italian Cookery.
a sauce typically made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and grated Parmesan blended together and served hot or cold over pasta, fish, or meat.

1935–40; < Upper Italian (compare Genoese dialect pésto pesto), Italian: noun derivative of pestare to pound, crush; see piste, pestle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pesto (ˈpɛstəʊ)
a sauce for pasta, consisting of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, oil, and Parmesan cheese, all crushed together
[Italian, shortened form of pestato, past participle of pestare to pound, crush]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

olive oil-based pasta sauce, 1937, from It. pesto, contracted form of pestato, pp. of pestare "to pound, to crush," in ref. to the crushed herbs and garlic in it, from L. root of pestle.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Squeeze balsamic extraction around pesto sauce poured in center of plate.
Toss arugula with salt and pepper and pile atop pesto.
No salt needed because the ham may be salty and the pesto has some in it, too.
Try the jumbo-sized shrimp for an appetizer and the redfish entree with pesto.
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