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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The conference was left out of the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year, and Washington was the sole team to play in a prestigious bowl game. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Unranked UW men get caught up in Pac-12’s image crisis," 5 Feb. 2019 But, aside from all of the red carpet gowns and prestigious accolades, was anyone else just really excited to see Emma Stone and her new boyfriend hanging out together? 'Cos same here. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Emma Stone and New Boyfriend Dave McCary Made a Rare Appearance at the SAG Awards," 28 Jan. 2019 When Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed and sworn in to the Supreme Court in October, his seat on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was left vacant. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Trump Judicial Nominee Neomi Rao's Thoughts on Rape Are Sparking Major Controversy," 14 Jan. 2019 After 50 years in business and countless accolades, Ralph Lauren has just received the most prestigious yet. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Ralph Lauren Receives an Honorary Knighthood From the United Kingdom," 14 Nov. 2018 Next came a gig opening for Haim on their nationwide tour and the opportunity to twerk onstage at England’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival. Caitlin Brody, Glamour, "'It's Heavy on the Vaginas': Inside Three Female-Dominated Productions," 28 Aug. 2018 To out-of-towners and New England yankees alike, Boston represents the country’s first and most prestigious seat of learning. Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Best Museums in Boston You'll Want To Visit," 17 July 2018 In the past six months, the 33-year-old has won the most prestigious title of the 13 in his career at the Miami Masters in March. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "While not always popular among fans, John Isner has aced his way to Wimbledon semis," 12 July 2018 And Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, will forever be a part of one of television’s most prestigious — and heavily criticized — shows, even as the veteran actress bids farewell to the snows of Winterfell. Meagan Fredette,, "Is Arya Stark The Last Woman Standing On Game Of Thrones?," 7 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.

See More

First Known Use of prestigious

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prestigious

Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prestigious

Share prestigious

Statistics for prestigious

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prestigious

The first known use of prestigious was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prestigious

What made you want to look up prestigious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the perfect form or example of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!