Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 307 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PRESTIGE, influence and authority exercised by reason of sigh 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 -tands 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).
End of Article: PRESTIGE
PRESTIDIGITATION (from Lat. praesto, ready, and dig...

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