pres·​ti·​gious pre-ˈsti-jəs How to pronounce prestigious (audio) -ˈstē- How to pronounce prestigious (audio)
 also  prə-
: having prestige : honored
archaic : of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery
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 the mid-16th century. 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 the mid-17th century, 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 Fraser is enjoying a slow-rolling career resurgence and has been working with prestigious filmmakers on projects with cachet. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 Although there are a lot of great categories, the prestigious Game of the Year Award is the best of the best. Rudie Obias, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 In its third iteration, Pitchfork Festival London was bigger than ever, taking place across 15 venues around the city, from sticky-floored bars to elegant churches and prestigious old theaters. Tara Joshi, Pitchfork, 15 Nov. 2023 Edward Enninful will receive the prestigious Trailblazer Award at the British Fashion Council’s annual celebration of the industry’s most impactful individuals. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 14 Nov. 2023 That’s why most of the world’s prestigious museums, like the Smithsonian, reject items that were discovered by treasure hunters, according to Johnston. Jay O'Brien, ABC News, 11 Nov. 2023 The ground floor of the building, now home to the Cicada Club, once housed Oviatt’s prestigious clothing store, Alexander & Oviatt. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 On Monday evening, tennis pro and fashion star Serena Williams was honored with the prestigious CFDA Fashion Icon Award—a prize that has also honored Zendaya, Naomi Campbell, and Rihanna in the past. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 8 Nov. 2023 Alumni of prestigious universities should halt donations to schools that refuse to condemn terrorism and curb anti-Semitism. WSJ, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prestigious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae

First Known Use

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of prestigious was in 1546


Dictionary Entries Near prestigious

Cite this Entry

“Prestigious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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