Word of the Day
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Definitions for prestidigitation

  1. Skill in or performance of tricks; sleight of hand.

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Citations for prestidigitation
He was the man who had sat alone in a room for hundreds and hundreds of hours, his fingers manipulating cards and coins until he had learned and could perfectly reproduce every form of prestidigitation found in books of magic lore. Brian Moore, The Magician's Wife
Some modern readers may be less surprised to find that efforts to use accounting prestidigitation to deflect borrowing away from current expenditure speedily came unstuck and that a return to more conventional ideas of financial integrity was rewarded by what seems to be a generation of calm, not entirely due to gaps in the record. Peter Rycraft, English Historical Review
Origin of prestidigitation
Prestidigitation was adopted from French, from preste, "nimble, quick" (from Italian presto, from Late Latin praestus, "ready at hand") + Latin digitus, "finger." One skilled in sleight of hand is a prestidigitator.
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