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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PRESTIGE, influence and authority exercised by reason of high reputation. It is one of the few words which have gained a meaning superior to that of original usage. The word in French, from which it has been borrowed by English, as in Latin praestigium or praestigiae, meant jugglers' tricks, deceit, imposture, and so is found in the 16th century. The Latin stands for praestrigium, from praestringere, to bind or fasten tight, hence to blindfold; others derive from praestinguere, to darken, obscure, deceive. The word was at first generally used as foreign and italicized; thus the New English Dictionary quotes Sir Walter Scott (Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk, 1815) for the earliest example in English of the modern usage, "Napoleon needed the dazzling blaze of decisive victory to renew the charm or prestige.. . once attached to his name and fortunes." Other words derived from praestigium through the French retain the original meaning of juggling or conjuring (see Prestidigitation).

<< Prestidigitation

John Preston >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also prestige


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de


Prestige n. (genitive Prestiges, no plural)

  1. prestige


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