pres·​ti·​gious | \ pre-ˈsti-jəs How to pronounce prestigious (audio) , -ˈstē- also prə- How to pronounce prestigious (audio) \

Definition of prestigious

1 : having prestige : honored
2 archaic : of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery

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Other Words from prestigious

prestigiously adverb
prestigiousness noun

Did You Know?

You may be surprised to learn that "prestigious" had more to do with trickery than with respect when it was first used in 1546. The earliest (now archaic) meaning of the word was "of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery." "Prestigious" comes to us from the Latin word praestigiosis, meaning "full of tricks" or "deceitful." The words "prestige" and "prestigious" are related, of course, though not as directly as you might think; they share a Latin ancestor, but they entered English by different routes. "Prestige," which was borrowed from French in 1656, initially meant "a conjurer's trick," but in the 19th century it developed an extended sense of "blinding or dazzling influence." That change in turn influenced "prestigious," which now means simply "illustrious or esteemed."

Examples of prestigious in a Sentence

a nutritional study that has been published by a prestigious medical journal the most prestigious social club in town
Recent Examples on the Web For those of us who haven’t enjoyed our culture’s never-ending superhero craze so much as endured it, the news that the most prestigious of all prestige cable outlets was adapting a DC Comics book sounded kind of like a betrayal. Judy Berman, Time, "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2019," 29 Nov. 2019 As in Chicago, a handful of Maryland hospitals — including some of the city's most prestigious — regularly employ the measures. John Diedrich,, "Some busy hospitals say they must turn away ambulances. Here's how one state banned the practice," 22 Nov. 2019 The Southern District of New York — which has jurisdiction over Wall Street — remains the most prestigious office. Tim Prudente,, "From Spiro Agnew to Catherine Pugh, Baltimore’s federal prosecutors have tradition of fighting corruption," 22 Nov. 2019 Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, the $97-million film takes place in 1966 and tells the real-life story of two men who helped the Ford Motor Co. become the first American company to win Le Mans, the world's most prestigious sports car race. al, "Weekend box office: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ races past ‘Charlie’s Angels’," 17 Nov. 2019 This week, universities became a new battleground, including one of the semi-autonomous territory’s most prestigious: The Chinese University of Hong Kong. NBC News, "Hong Kong's student protesters catch up on class the same way they organize: On an encrypted messaging app," 16 Nov. 2019 Entering its 11th year, the Top Workplaces program is southeast Wisconsin's most prestigious recognition of the region's best employers. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Friday is the final deadline for Top Workplaces nominations," 11 Nov. 2019 Instead, power consolidated the whole thing down to, in the terrarium-like industry capital of New York, the most prestigious, and therefore credentialed, and therefore respectful-of-power publications. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Death of the Rude Press," 7 Nov. 2019 In a historic move for gender equity in surfing, the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Challenge, the oldest and most prestigious big-wave contest in the world, has invited nine women to its 34th annual event. Michaela Vatcheva,, "Hawaii’s Eddie Aikau Big Wave contest invites nine women to surf," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prestigious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prestigious

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for prestigious

Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae

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The first known use of prestigious was in 1546

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prestigious.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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