salted ham that has been cured by drying, always sliced paper-thin for serving.

1935–40; < Italian prosciutto, earlier presciutto < Vulgar Latin *perexsuctus all dried up, equivalent to Latin per- per- + exsuctus lacking juice Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prosciutto (prəʊˈʃuːtəʊ, Italian proˈʃutto)
cured ham from Italy: usually served as an hors d'oeuvre
[Italian, literally: dried beforehand, from pro-pre- + asciutto dried]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Italian spiced ham. c.1938, from It., alteration (probably by infl. of prosciugato "dried") of presciutto, from pre-, intensive prefix + -sciutto, from L. exsuctus "lacking juice, dried up," pp. of exsugere "suck out, draw out moisture," from ex- "out" + sugere "to suck" (see sup (2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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