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prestidigitation

[pres-ti-dij-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌprɛs tɪˌdɪdʒ ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
sleight of hand; legerdemain.
Origin
1855-1860
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 forms
prestidigitator, noun
prestidigitatory
[pres-ti-dij-i-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˌprɛs tɪˈdɪdʒ ɪ təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
prestidigitatorial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prestidigitator

prestidigitation

/ˌprɛstɪˌdɪdʒɪˈteɪʃən/
noun
1.
another name for sleight of hand
Derived Forms
prestidigitator, 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
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Word Origin and History for prestidigitator
n.

1843, from French prestidigitateur, a hybrid coined 1830 by Jules de Rovère (who sought a new word, "qui s'accorderait mieux à ses nobles origines" to replace escamoteur and physicien), roughly based on Latin praestigiator "juggler" (see prestigious); influenced by Italian presto "quick," a conjuror's word (see presto), and by Latin digitus "finger" (see digit).

prestidigitation

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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