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 emperor's person.
Origin: L. Praefectus, fr. Praefectus, p. P. Of praeficere to set over; prae = before _ facere = to make: cf. F. Prefet.