What does prefect mean?

Definitions for prefect
ˈpri fɛktpre·fect

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prefect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prefectnoun

    a chief officer or chief magistrate

    "the prefect of Paris police"


  1. prefectnoun

    An official of ancient Rome.

  2. prefectnoun

    The head of a department in France.

  3. prefectnoun

    A school pupil in a position of power over other pupils.

  4. prefectnoun

    A commander.

  5. Etymology: From praefectus. Literally 'one having been put in charge'.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Prefectnoun

    Governor; commander.

    Etymology: præfectus, Lat.

    He is much
    The better soldier, having been a tribune,
    Prefect, lieutenant, prætor in the war. Ben Jonson.

    It was the custom in the Roman empire, for the prefects and vice-roys of distant provinces to transmit a relation of every thing remarkable in their administration. Addison.


  1. prefect

    A prefect is a person appointed to a position of authority or responsibility in various institutions or contexts such as in schools, local or regional government, law enforcement, and judicial courts. Their exact roles and duties largely depend on the specific institutional conventions. In schools, for example, a prefect may be a senior student in charge of maintaining discipline. In ancient Rome, a prefect was a high-ranking magistrate or military commander.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prefectnoun

    a Roman officer who controlled or superintended a particular command, charge, department, etc.; as, the prefect of the aqueducts; the prefect of a camp, of a fleet, of the city guard, of provisions; the pretorian prefect, who was commander of the troops guarding the emperor's person

  2. Prefectnoun

    a superintendent of a department who has control of its police establishment, together with extensive powers of municipal regulation

  3. Prefectnoun

    in the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, a title of certain dignitaries below the rank of bishop

  4. Etymology: [L. praefectus, fr. praefectus, p. p. of praeficere to set over; prae before + facere to make: cf. F. prfet.]


  1. Prefect

    Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition. A prefect's office, department, or area of control is called a prefecture, but in various post-Roman empire cases there is a prefect without a prefecture or vice versa. The words "prefect" and "prefecture" are also used, more or less conventionally, to render analogous words in other languages, especially Romance languages.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prefect

    prē′fekt, n. one placed in authority over others: a commander: the administrative head of a modern French department.—ns. Prē′fectship, his office or jurisdiction; Prē′fecture, the office or district of a prefect: the house occupied by a prefect. [Fr. préfet—L. præfectus, pa.p. of præficĕrepræ, over, facĕre, to make.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. prefect

    (Lat. præfectus). A Roman officer who was over, or who superintended, a particular command, charge, department, and the like. Of this class there were several, as the prefect of a camp, of a fleet, of the city guards, etc.

Suggested Resources

  1. Prefect

    Perfect vs Prefect -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Perfect and Prefect.

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How to pronounce prefect?

How to say prefect in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prefect in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prefect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of prefect in a Sentence

  1. Philip Pullella:

    There was basically silence for about four months. At the end of August I got a call from the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication saying the pope had decided to go ahead with an interview, that we would aim for the end of September 2017 and that I should send over some ideas for topics.

  2. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano:

    I have informed the cabinet that I intend to empower the prefect of Rome so that he can oversee projects and planning with the mayor in eight especially delicate areas.

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Translations for prefect

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"prefect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prefect>.

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    of persons; taken advantage of
    • A. dangerous
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