pres·​ti·​gious | \pre-ˈsti-jəs, -ˈstē- also prə- \

Definition of prestigious 

1 archaic : of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery

2 : having prestige : honored

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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

That naiveté, apparently, can be found even at one of the most prestigious research institutions in the world. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The alcohol industry gave the government money to prove moderate drinking is safe," 15 June 2018 The clip was a reference to Witherspoon's beloved sorority sister turned Harvard Law School student's video application to the prestigious institution. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Reese Witherspoon confirms 'Legally Blonde 3'," 7 June 2018 Some are headed to Harvard, MIT and other prestigious institutions out of state. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "What it takes: DeKalb valedictorians share secrets to success," 16 May 2018 Recent milestones: Finalized partnership agreement with URBE university, a prestigious institution from Venezuela that recently expanded operations to Miami, to launch a Test Preparation Center in Doral. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "Holder of a Guinness World Record in math finds new challenge in startup trenches | Miami Herald," 13 Apr. 2018 Students scramble to gain admittance to the most prestigious institutions, with exam preparation starting ever younger. Sought-after private nurseries in Seoul have long waiting lists. The Economist, "All must have degreesGoing to university is more important than ever for young people," 3 Feb. 2018 The family returned to Pakistan when his father was offered the artistic directorship of a prestigious theater in Lahore, before Tahir returned to the United States for high school and college. Joel Brown,, "Capturing the villainy of Richard III, from the inside out," 12 July 2018 BlocBoy JB, featured in XXL's prestigious Freshman Class this year, is headlining the Miller Lite Oasis stage ... at 10:15 p.m. tonight. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Rising rapper BlocBoy JB, co-signed by Drake, replaces GoldLink at Summerfest Friday," 29 June 2018 Despite his advancing years, Buffon is still regarded in the upper echelons of goalkeeping ability, with his €52m move to Turin back in 2001 giving him the prestigious honor of being the world's most expensive goalkeeper for well over a decade., "PSG Signs Goalkeeping Legend Gianluigi Buffon to One-Year Deal," 6 July 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for prestigious

Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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The first known use of prestigious was in 1546

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a private place of worship

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