- in ancient Rome, any of various high-ranking officials or chief magistrates in charge of governmental or military departments
- in modern times, any of various administrative officials; specif.,
- the head of a department of France
- the chief of the Paris police
- in some private schools, esp. in England, an older student with disciplinary authority
Origin of prefectMiddle English prefecte ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin praefectus, past participle of praeficere, to set over: see pre- and amp; -fy
- A high administrative official or chief officer, as:a. Any of several high military or civil officials in ancient Rome.b. The chief of police of Paris, France.c. A chief administrative official of a department of France.d. The administrator in charge of discipline at a Jesuit school.
- A student monitor or officer, especially in a private school.
Origin of prefectMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin praefectus, from past participle of praeficere, to place at the head of : prae-, pre- + facere, to make; see dh&emacron;- in Indo-European roots.
- An official of Ancient Rome who controlled or superintended a particular command, charge, department, etc.
- the prefect of the aqueducts; the prefect of a camp, of a fleet, of the city guard, or of provisions; the pretorian prefect, who was commander of the troops guarding the emperor's person
- The head of a department in France.
- A school pupil in a position of power over other pupils.
- A commander.
From Latin praefectus (“overseer, director, prefect"). Literally 'one having been put in charge'.