American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A high administrative official or chief officer, as:
- n. Any of several high military or civil officials in ancient Rome.
- n. The chief of police of Paris, France.
- n. A chief administrative official of a department of France.
- n. The administrator in charge of discipline at a Jesuit school.
- n. A student monitor or officer, especially in a private school.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A governor, commander, chief magistrate, or superintendent. Specifically— A name common to several officers, military and civil, in ancient Rome, who held particular commands or had charge of certain departments. Thus, the prefect or warden of the city at first exercised within the city the powers of the king or consuls during their absence; after 487 b. c., as a permanent elective magistrate, he was empowered to maintain peace and order in the city. After 246 b. c., when the first prætor urbanus was appointed, the importance of the prefect's office vanished; but its judicial functions were much enlarged by Augustus. Under Constantine the prefects were direct representatives of the emperor's person, civil governors of provinces or of chief cities. The title of prefect was also given to the commander of the fleet and to the commander of the pretorians, or troops who guarded the emperor's person, as well as to several other chief officials and magistrates.
- n. A director.
- n. Tutelary divinity; presiding deity.
- n. An official of ancient Rome.
- n. The head of a department in France.
- n. A school pupil in a position of power over other pupils.
- n. A commander.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A Roman officer who controlled or superintended a particular command, charge, department, etc.
- n. France A superintendent of a department who has control of its police establishment, together with extensive powers of municipal regulation.
- n. In the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, a title of certain dignitaries below the rank of bishop.
- n. a chief officer or chief magistrate
- From Latin praefectus ("overseer, director, prefect"). Literally 'one having been put in charge'. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praefectus, from past participle of praeficere, to place at the head of : prae-, pre- + facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This role as social prefect is an intolerable burden”
“Around the time of Easter last year, the knight I mentioned earlier, whom we called the prefect of Tiberiad, and who had been victorious in that battle, was involved in another encounter, less fortunate for our men, in which he was captured, and brought alive by the pagans to”
“The prefect is a member of FUC and the sultan is accused of sympathising with the rebels, who along with two other groups have been fighting the army in recent weeks, Tenebaye told AFP.”
“He's called the prefect of the pontifical household.”
“The prefect was the arbiter of what was allowed and what was not allowed, an enforcer of rules, a catcher of mistakes.”
“The prefect is another descendant of Fenardre the Great who would emulate his ancestor.”
“But you will remember that this happened in the Marconi period, and to be a prefect is a Preparation for Public Life.”
“The prefect spoke to Brother Michael and Brother Michael answered and called the prefect sir.”
“Michael and Brother Michael answered and called the prefect sir.”
“The prefect was a good and just man, and the nations were happy under his sway; but he died after a few years, and his wife, unfortunately, thought it wiser to leave Trèves and take her children to Rome, where they could get the best teaching and would become acquainted with their father's friends.”
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