pre·​fect | \ ˈprē-ˌfekt How to pronounce prefect (audio) \

Definition of prefect

1 : any of various high officials or magistrates of differing functions and ranks in ancient Rome
2 : a chief officer or chief magistrate
3 : a student monitor in a usually private school

Examples of prefect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The city was in mourning, with candles lit at the site of the attack, and the Christmas market was closed at least through Thursday, according to regional prefect Jean-Luc Marx. Elaine Ganley, The Seattle Times, "Gunman from Christmas market attack in France still at large," 12 Dec. 2018 In recent months, the prefect of Oursi and the mayor of Koutougou, both rural communes in Soum province, have been killed. Brahima Ouedraogo, Fox News, "In heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso faces rising extremism," 15 Aug. 2018 Another security official says the prefect had been threatened by extremists several times before Monday night’s attack. Washington Post, "Suspected extremists kill Burkina Faso government official," 16 May 2018 There are subplots about whether Rome's hiding Christians should openly, violently revolt, and the internal struggle of the prison's prefect (French actor Olivier Martinez, alone weez eez awk-sent) who hates his gig and has a dying child. Robert Abele,, "'Paul, Apostle of Christ' takes a compelling Biblical character and delivers a ponderous drama," 22 Mar. 2018 Cardinal Tauran, who was born in Bordeaux, France, served in various Vatican embassies before being named chief Vatican archivist, foreign minister, and then prefect of the Vatican office of interfaith relations. Nicole Winfield,, "Cardinal Tauran, who announced pope’s election, dies at 75," 7 July 2018 Tauran, who was born in Bordeaux, served in various Vatican embassies before being named chief Vatican archivist, foreign minister and then prefect of the Vatican office of interfaith relations. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Cardinal Tauran, who announced pope's election, dies at 75," 6 July 2018 Paris was rebuilt by Baron Haussmann, his Alsatian prefect. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Shadow Emperor’ Review: The Other Bonaparte," 29 May 2018 Much like real journalists might, the fake ones took a load off on the bases of the columns near the home to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where Benedict worked as prefect before his election as pope. New York Times, "‘Extra’ Cardinals Invade the Vatican (Blessings Not Included)," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prefect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prefect

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prefect

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin praefectus, from past participle of praeficere to place at the head of, from prae- + facere to make — more at do

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The first known use of prefect was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of prefect

: a chief officer or government official who is responsible for a particular area in some countries (such as Japan and France)
chiefly British : an older student who is given the job of helping to watch and control younger students in a school

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prefect

Spanish Central: Translation of prefect

Nglish: Translation of prefect for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about prefect

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