• synonyms


[pres-ti-dij-i-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for prestidigitation on Thesaurus.com
  1. sleight of hand; legerdemain.
Show More

Origin of prestidigitation

1855–60; < French: literally, ready-fingeredness, coinage perhaps based on prestigiateur juggler, conjurer, derivative of Latin praestīgiae juggler's tricks (see prestige). See prest1, digit, -ation
Related formspres·ti·dig·i·ta·tor, nounpres·ti·dig·i·ta·to·ry [pres-ti-dij-i-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌprɛs tɪˈdɪdʒ ɪ təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, pres·ti·dig·i·ta·to·ri·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prestidigitation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for prestidigitation


  1. another name for sleight of hand
Show More
Derived Formsprestidigitator, noun

Word Origin

C19: from French: quick-fingeredness, from Latin praestigiae feats of juggling, tricks, probably influenced by French preste nimble, and Latin digitus finger; see prestige
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for prestidigitation


1843, from French prestidigitation, which was coined along with prestidigitator (q.v.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper