[ poh-des-tuh, poh-duh-stah ]
/ poʊˈdɛs tə, ˌpoʊ dəˈstɑ /


any of certain magistrates in Italy, as a chief magistrate in medieval towns and republics.
a person appointed to serve as mayor of an Italian city during the Fascist regime.

Origin of podesta

1540–50; < Italian podestà power < Latin potestās power, command
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for podesta

British Dictionary definitions for podesta

/ (pɒˈdɛstə, Italian podeˈsta) /


(in modern Italy) a subordinate magistrate in some towns
(in Fascist Italy) the chief magistrate of a commune
(in medieval Italy)
  1. any of the governors of the Lombard cities appointed by Frederick Barbarossa
  2. a chief magistrate in any of various republics, such as Florence

Word Origin for podesta

C16: from Italian: power, from Latin potestās ability, power, from posse to be able
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