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prefect

or prae·fect

[ pree-fekt ]
/ ˈpri fɛkt /
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noun

a person appointed to any of various positions of command, authority, or superintendence, as a chief magistrate in ancient Rome or the chief administrative official of a department of France or Italy.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. the dean of a Jesuit school or college.
  2. a cardinal in charge of a congregation in the Curia Romana.
Chiefly British. a praepostor.

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Origin of prefect

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Latin praefectus “overseer, director” (noun use of past participle of praeficere “to make prior,” i.e., “put in charge”), equivalent to prae- “before, prior to” (see pre-) + -fectus (combining form of factus, past participle of facere “to make, do” (see do1); see fact

OTHER WORDS FROM prefect

sub·pre·fect, nounun·der·pre·fect, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH prefect

perfect, prefect
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for prefect

British Dictionary definitions for prefect

prefect
/ (ˈpriːfɛkt) /

noun

Also (for senses 4–7): praefect

Derived forms of prefect

prefectorial (ˌpriːfɛkˈtɔːrɪəl), adjective

Word Origin for prefect

C14: from Latin praefectus one put in charge, from praeficere to place in authority over, from prae before + facere to do, make
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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