AskDefine | Define prestigious

Dictionary Definition

prestigious adj
1 having an illustrious reputation; respected; "our esteemed leader"; "a prestigious author" [syn: esteemed, honored]
2 exerting influence by reason of high status or prestige; "a prestigious professor at a prestigious university"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Of high prestige.
    She has a prestigious job with an international organization.


Extensive Definition

Prestige is a word commonly used to describe reputation or esteem, though it has three somewhat related meanings that, to some degree, may be contradictory. Which meaning applies depends on the historical context and the person using the word.
Originally, prestige referred to pomposity, which was taken as a sign of poor taste. In this regard, the word had strictly negative connotations. Indeed, the root of the word "prestige" comes from the Latin præstigum, meaning a delusion or a trick. In some Romance languages "prestige" retains this original meaning.
Prestige has also come to be known as the finishing act in a magician's trick, a finale of sorts, where, for example, the object of the magician's trick is returned from disappearance or a woman reappears unharmed from a box of swords. A magician's trick is divided into 3 parts: the pledge, the turn, and the prestige. The pledge is where he dares to dramatize his act; the turn, where he makes the item disappear; and finally the prestige, where the disappeared item reappears.
prestigious in Czech: Prestiž
prestigious in Danish: Prestige
prestigious in German: Prestige
prestigious in Estonian: Prestiiž
prestigious in Spanish: Prestigio
prestigious in Italian: Prestigio
prestigious in Polish: Prestiż
prestigious in Portuguese: Prestígio

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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