Origin of praetorMiddle English (northern) pretour ; from L, for an unverified form prae-itor ; from praeire, to precede ; from prae-, before (see pre-) + ire, to go
Origin of praetorMiddle English pretor, from Old French, from Latin praetor, perhaps from prae&imacron;re, to go before : prae-, pre- + &imacron;re, to go; see ei- in Indo-European roots.
(plural praetors or praetores)
- (Roman history) The title designating a Roman administrative official whose role changed over time:
- (originally) A consul in command of the army.
- (after 366 BC) An annually-elected curule magistrate, subordinate to the consuls in provincial administration, and who performed some of their duties; numbering initially only one, later two (either of the praetor urbÄnus (“urban praetor") or the praetor peregrÄ«nus (“peregrine praetor")), and eventually eighteen.
- (by extension) A high civic or administrative official, especially a chief magistrate or mayor. Sometimes used as a title.
- (in Italian seventeenth- and eighteenth-century history, translating the Italian "pretore") The title of the chief magistrate, the mayor, and/or the podestÃ in Palermo, in Verona, and in various other parts of Italy.
From the Anglo-Norman pretour, pretore, the Middle French preteur (from the Old French pretor; compare the Modern French prÃ©teur), and their etymon, the Classical Latin praetor (“leader", “commander", “magistrate"); the Latin praetor being contracted from *praeitor (“one who goes before"), from praeeÅ (“I go before"), from prae (“before") + eÅ (“I go"); compare the Italian pretore, the Portuguese pretor, and the Spanish pretor.