prefect

or prae·fect

[ pree-fekt ]
/ ˈpri fɛkt /

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 praeposter.

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Origin of prefect

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

OTHER WORDS FROM prefect

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

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH prefect

perfect prefect (see usage note at perfect)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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