"Conjuring tricks performed as entertainment." Prestidigitator.
From the French, "preste," (nimble) plus the Latin, "digitus," (finger).
I'm not impressed by the big set pieces. I saw a Sigfried and Roy show in Las Vegas long ago. It was quite a spectacle, with the disappearing tigers reappearing on the other side of the stage. But who cares? It's a trick.
I am impressed by a talented performer of card tricks, viewed close up. A guy holding a simple deck of cards, sleeves rolled up, standing within a few feet of you, and relentlessly making the cards dance to his tune, that, my friends, is entertainment, that is true amazement.
A New Orleans themed restaurant in Los Angeles that I really liked had a Mardi Gras party one time. They had jugglers and magicians walking around, entertaining at the tables. The fellow who did some card tricks for us stood right next to us and astonished us time after time. He was terrific. All I could notice was that his hands seemed to vibrate at high speed from time to time. You really needed to look closely to see it. Afterwards, while I was complementing him, I mentioned it. "Yeah," he said, "I'm working on that."
Penn and Teller are fun, I like them. They play around with the whole notion of it and they have taken the time to master the small game. Good for them. Making the Statue of Liberty disappear on TV is probably much easier. And who cares?