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

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 An 11-year-old Mandeville violinist has brought home yet another prestigious music award and will perform as a soloist with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra in the spring. Staff Report,, "Mandeville siblings continue ending atop music competitions," 9 Jan. 2021 In another example, a student at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University was pictured typing on his laptop while riding on a bike. Jane Li, Quartz, "Why Chinese youngsters are embracing a philosophy of “slacking-off”," 28 Dec. 2020 The complaint alleges Zhao made a series of payments totaling $1.5 million to Brand in exchange for the coach recruiting Zhao's two sons to the fencing team, thereby facilitating their acceptance to the prestigious university. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Maryland CEO paid former fencing coach $1.5 million in bribes to get his sons accepted to Harvard, feds say," 16 Nov. 2020 A day earlier, the University of Buenos Aires, the country’s most prestigious university, did the same. Jta Staff,, "Argentine Football Association adopts IHRA definition of anti-Semitism," 13 Oct. 2020 But after getting into the prestigious East China Normal University, Wang was dismayed when the faculty assigned him to study biology. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "This biologist helped trace SARS to bats. Now, he's working to uncover the origins of COVID-19," 30 Sep. 2020 Wright, who earned his MBA from the prestigious University of Chicago Booth School of Business after his seven-year playing career, spent the previous seven years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, a leading consulting firm in Washington D.C. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Jason Wright on how his 4 years as a Browns running back helped prepare him for his new role as president of the Washington Football Team," 26 Sep. 2020 Ho studied in Beijing at the prestigious Tsinghua University, starting classes in 2008, a time when Chinese society writ large remained marginally more open. Timothy Mclaughlin, Wired, "Hong Kong Is a Troubling Case Study in the Death of Democracy," 17 Sep. 2020 After studying at the prestigious Seoul National University and covering politics for the DongA Ilbo newspaper, Lee entered politics two decades ago under the former progressive President Kim Dae-jung. Jeong-ho Lee,, "South Korea’s Ruling Party Picks Ex-PM as Possible Moon Successor," 29 Aug. 2020

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

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prestigious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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