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or pretor

[pree-ter] /ˈpri tər/
(in the ancient Roman republic) one of a number of elected magistrates charged chiefly with the administration of civil justice and ranking next below a consul.
Origin of praetor
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English pretor < Latin praetor, for *praeitor leader, literally, one going before, equivalent to *praei-, variant stem of praeīre to go before, lead (prae- prae- + -i-, base of īre to go) + -tor -tor
Related forms
[pree-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /priˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for praetor
Historical Examples
  • He ordered the praetor of the city to arrest the Pope and conduct him to prison.

    Byzantine Churches in Constantinople Alexander Van Millingen
  • As if the praetor should fairly dismiss him from the stage, whom he had taken in to act a while.

    Meditations Marcus Aurelius
  • He must at all events to the praetor; a pity, so young and so rich!

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • Hasten with this, Davus, to the praetor, at the amphitheatre.

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • praetor, delay, and you answer with your own life to the emperor!

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • Officers, remove the accused Glaucus—remove, but guard him yet,' said the praetor.

    The Last Days of Pompeii Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
  • If only she who is gone might have had the joy of hearing me called senator and praetor!

  • "And you are our Sappho," said the praetor's wife, drawing the girl's arm to her bosom.

    The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
  • "And not unfrequently stumbled over with the foot," laughed the praetor.

    The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
  • "You are sensitive and take things too hardly," the praetor ventured to remonstrate.

    The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
British Dictionary definitions for praetor


/ˈpriːtə; -tɔː/
(in ancient Rome) any of several senior magistrates ranking just below the consuls
Derived Forms
praetorial, pretorial, adjective
praetorship, pretorship, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: one who leads the way, probably from praeīre, from prae- before + īre to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for praetor

elected magistrate in ancient Rome (subordinate to consuls), early 15c., from Latin praetor "one who goes before;" originally "a consul as leader of an army," from prae "before" (see pre-) + root of ire "to go" (see ion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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