1. a chief officer or chief magistrate
; - Example: "the prefect of Paris police"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Prefect \Pre"fect\, n. [L. praefectus, fr. praefectus, p. p. of
praeficere to set over; prae before + facere to make: cf. F.
1. A Roman officer who controlled or superintended a
particular command, charge, department, etc.; as, the
prefect of the aqueducts; the prefect of a camp, of a
fleet, of the city guard, of provisions; the pretorian
prefect, who was commander of the troops guarding the
2. A superintendent of a department who has control of its
police establishment, together with extensive powers of
municipal regulation. [France] --Brande & C.
3. In the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, a title of
certain dignitaries below the rank of bishop.
Apostolic prefect (R. C. Ch.), the head of a mission, not
of episcopal rank. --Shipley.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a chief officer or chief magistrate; "the prefect of Paris
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
47 Moby Thesaurus words for "prefect":
apprentice teacher, archon, auditor, autodidact, chancellor,
chief executive, chief executive officer, dean, educatee,
executive, executive director, executive officer,
executive secretary, graduate assistant, inquirer, intern, learner,
magistrate, management, managing director, monitor, officer,
official, paraprofessional, practice teacher, praepostor,
president, prexy, proctor, provost, pupil, pupil teacher, scholar,
secretary, self-taught person, student, student assistant, studier,
teaching assistant, teaching fellow, teaching intern,
the administration, trainee, treasurer, vice-chancellor,
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
PREFECT, French law. A chief officer invested with the superintendence of
the administration of the laws in each department. Merl. Repert. h.t.