Definition of prefect in English:

prefect

Syllabification: pre·fect
Pronunciation: /ˈprēˌfekt
 
/

noun

1A chief officer, magistrate, or regional governor in certain countries: the prefect of police
More example sentences
  • The head of each region is a prefect appointed by the central government.
  • It sends four deputies to the National Assembly in Paris and in turn receives an appointed prefect who serves as the central government's local executive.
  • Many of its newly appointed prefects lacked experience, old political divisions remained, and there was apathy in areas remote from the German threat.
1.1A senior magistrate or governor in the ancient Roman world: Avitus was prefect of Gaul from AD 439
More example sentences
  • A passion drama, in my opinion, should certainly mention the undisputed fact that Caiaphas was dependent on the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, to retain his position as high priest.
  • The head of the civil administration as far as Britain was concerned was the praetorian prefect of the Gauls, based in Trier, to whom the vicarius of the British diocese was responsible.
  • The provinces were grouped into larger administrative units called a diocese, ruled by a governor general who answered to a praetorian prefect, who in turn answered to one of the tetrarchs.
2chiefly British In some schools, a senior student authorized to enforce discipline.
More example sentences
  • The school chapel became the focal point of life, discipline was enforced through prefects and team games emphasized.
  • It turned out that we weren't allowed to play too close to the school entrance (though nobody had told me) and this girl was a monitor - junior school equivalent of a prefect.
  • She has organised a charity talent contest and, as a form representative and one of the school's first prefects, she has helped her classmates and younger pupils at the school.

Origin

late Middle English (sense 2): from Old French, from Latin praefectus, past participle of praeficere 'set in authority over', from prae 'before' + facere 'make'. sense 2 dates from the early 19th century.

Derivatives

prefectoral

Pronunciation: /prēˈfektərəl/
adjective
More example sentences
  • This was evident in the prefectoral corps, where most imperial recruits were of noble origin. In the municipality of Marseille, for instance, Baron de Montgrand who was nominated as mayor in 1809 had last served before 1789.
  • The Concordat, the prefectoral system, a reduced version of the gendarmerie and financial reforms remained, though central authorities loosened their grip on local government a little from 1818.
  • Only when France went to war with Austria in 1809 were more servants of the first Cisalpine appointed as prefects, and the prefectoral corps came to look something like a professional bureaucracy.

prefectorial

Pronunciation: /ˌprēˌfekˈtôrēəl/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Since then, his prefectorial duties have inevitably ‘entrained’ - as he might put it - the deployment of a certain official pomposity.
  • When I was a committee member of the school prefectorial board back in my secondary school, we were given the choice to choose who we, the committee, wanted to succeed us.

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