pre·​fec·​ture | \ ˈprē-ˌfek-chər How to pronounce prefecture (audio) \

Definition of prefecture

1 : the office or term of office of a prefect
2 : the official residence of a prefect
3 : the district governed by a prefect

Other Words from prefecture

prefectural \ ˈprē-​ˌfek-​chə-​rəl How to pronounce prefecture (audio) , pri-​ˈfek-​ \ adjective

Examples of prefecture in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ash falls from the 1,592-meter (5,222-foot) mountain in the prefecture of Kumamoto are expected to shower nearby towns until late afternoon, the weather agency added. Reuters, CNN, 20 Oct. 2021 Olympic bid was first conceived, it was billed as a chance to show the world the country had emerged from another trauma: the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that ravaged its northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 It's located in Hiroshima, a prefecture known for great shellfish. Jessica Dupuy, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Chizu is in Tottori, Japan’s least populated prefecture. New York Times, 28 Oct. 2021 The victim, 30-year-old Lhamo, was a farmer and livestreamer in a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 15 Oct. 2021 The son of a strawberry farmer from Japan's northern prefecture of Akita, Suga enjoyed support ratings as high as 70% early in his tenure because he was seen as a leader from the common people rather than blue-blood political families like Abe. Arkansas Online, 4 Sep. 2021 It has been joined by the northern prefecture of Hokkaido, which will hold soccer games without fans at the Sapporo Dome. Stephen Wade,, 10 July 2021 Police in Chiba prefecture said 11 people were injured there. Arkansas Online, 8 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prefecture.' 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 prefecture

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for prefecture

Time Traveler

The first known use of prefecture was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near prefecture



prefecture apostolic

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Statistics for prefecture

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prefecture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of prefecture

: any one of the areas into which some countries (such as Japan and France) are divided for local government : the area that is governed by a prefect

More from Merriam-Webster on prefecture

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


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