- 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 -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 dhē- 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'.