[ pres-ti-dij-i-tey-shuhn ]
/ ˌprɛs tɪˌdɪdʒ ɪˈteɪ ʃən /
Save This Word!


sleight of hand; legerdemain.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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

OTHER WORDS FROM prestidigitation

pres·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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for prestidigitation

British Dictionary definitions for prestidigitation

/ (ˌprɛstɪˌdɪdʒɪˈteɪʃən) /


another name for sleight of hand

Derived forms of prestidigitation

prestidigitator, noun

Word Origin for prestidigitation

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