prefect definition, prefect meaning | English dictionary

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1    (in France, Italy, etc.) the chief administrative officer in a department  
2    (in France, etc.) the head of a police force  
3      (Brit)   a schoolchild appointed to a position of limited power over his fellows  
4    (in ancient Rome) any of several magistrates or military commanders  
5      (Also called)    prefect apostolic     (R.C. Church)   an official having jurisdiction over a missionary district that has no ordinary  
6      (R.C. Church)   one of two senior masters in a Jesuit school or college (the prefect of studies and the prefect of discipline or first prefect)  
7      (R.C. Church)   a cardinal in charge of a congregation of the Curia,   (Also (for senses 4--7))    praefect  
     (C14: from Latin praefectus one put in charge, from praeficere to place in authority over, from prae before + facere to do, make)  
  prefectorial      adj  
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