Prestidigitation definition

prĕstĭ-dĭjĭ-tāshən
Performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand.
noun
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Skill or cleverness, especially in deceiving others.
noun
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Sleight of hand; legerdemain.
noun
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A performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand.

My favorite prestidigitation was when he pulled the live dove out of that tiny scarf.

noun
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A show of skill or deceitful cleverness.

His writing was peppered with verbal tricks and prestidigitation.

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Note: despite the phonetic similarities, the words prestidigitator and prestidigitation have different origins from those of prestige, even though this in the past has meant "delusion, illusion, trick".
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
prestidigitation
Plural:
prestidigitations

Origin of prestidigitation

  • French (influenced by prestigiateur juggler, conjurer) (from prestige illusion) from prestidigitateur conjurer preste nimble (from Italian presto presto) Latin digitus finger digit

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition