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

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

At the time, changing cultural norms (link in Chinese) encouraged more freedom and liberal rights for women, in contrast with traditional Confucian theories that encouraged the idea that men were more prestigious (link in Chinese). Echo Huang, Quartzy, "Disney’s “Mulan” is not the feminist Mulan Chinese girls recognize," 10 July 2019 Kenseth led just the final 100 yards or so to claim his record-extending eighth title in Slinger Speedway’s prestigious super-late model special. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Matt Kenseth wins his eighth Slinger National title in the final turn, with no apology necessary," 10 July 2019 The prestigious German architect Ole Scheeren was brought on to design the sleek meatpacking district cafe, which cost millions to open. Julia Moskin, New York Times, "Dean & DeLuca Closes Stores as Debts Pile Up," 10 July 2019 Nike wraps up a tour that included stops in Atlanta, Indianapolis and Dallas with this week’s prestigious Peach Jam. Buddy Collings,, "FHSAA vs. NCAA standoff hurts basketball prospects," 10 July 2019 Before graduating from Clear Springs High School in 2014, Hart was nominated twice for prestigious Tommy Tune Awards. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood resident returns to stage in updated ‘Millie’," 10 July 2019 Goodwill shared images of the prestigious medal on social media on Monday in hopes of finding the recipient's family. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "A Purple Heart that was mistakenly donated to Goodwill will be returned to a sailor's family," 10 July 2019 Now a new Italian study published by the prestigious American Economic Review takes a closer look at the role that television, particularly the network owned by Berlusconi, played in his political rise. Clarence Page,, "Column: What Italy can teach Democrats about running against Donald Trump," 9 July 2019 Gucci is the latest to land in this prestigious location, opening an intimate shop at No. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Latest Red Carpet-Ready Looks From Paris High-Jewelry Collections," 8 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of prestigious

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for prestigious

Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prestigious

Listen to Our Podcast about prestigious

Statistics for prestigious

Last Updated

16 Jul 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!