from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A university administrator of high rank.
  • noun The highest official in certain cathedrals or collegiate churches.
  • noun The keeper of a prison.
  • noun The chief magistrate of certain Scottish cities.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who is appointed to superintend or preside over something; the chief or head of certain bodies.
  • noun The keeper of a prison; a chief jailer.
  • noun Formerly, one holding a position in the English schools of fence higher than that of scholar and lower than that of master.
  • noun A temporary prison in which the military police confine prisoners until they are disposed of.
  • noun In the navy, an officer who is charged with the safe-keeping of a prisoner, pending his trial by a court martial, and who is responsible for his production before the court whenever his presence is required.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A person who is appointed to superintend, or preside over, something; the chief magistrate in some cities and towns
  • noun obsolete The keeper of a prison.
  • noun (Mil.), (Nav.) An officer who has charge of prisoners on trial by court-martial, serves notices to witnesses, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Scottish local government The equivalent of mayor in some Scottish cities.
  • noun higher education A senior academic administrator; sometimes called the Vice-President of Academic Affairs.
  • noun religion The highest position in a monastery below an abbot.
  • noun A prison keeper, especially in the military.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a high-ranking university administrator


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English profost and Old French provost, both from Medieval Latin prōpositus, alteration of Latin praepositus, person placed over others, superintendent, from past participle of praepōnere, to place over : prae-, pre- + pōnere, to put; see apo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin prōpositus, from Latin praepositus ("placed in front").



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