An annually elected magistrate of the ancient Roman Republic, ranking below but having approximately the same functions as a consul.
A magistrate of ancient Rome, next below a consul in rank.
- (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.
Origin of praetor
- Middle English pretor from Old French from Latin praetor perhaps from praeīre to go before prae- pre- īre to go ei- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- 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.