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a person appointed to any of various positions of command, authority, or superintendence, as a chief magistrate in ancient Rome or the chief administrative official of a department of France or Italy.
Roman Catholic Church.

the dean of a Jesuit school or college.
a cardinal in charge of a congregation in the Curia Romana.

Chiefly British. a praeposter.
(in France, Italy, etc) the chief administrative officer in a department
(in France, etc) the head of a police force
(Brit) a schoolchild appointed to a position of limited power over his fellows
(in ancient Rome) any of several magistrates or military commanders
(RC Church) Also called prefect apostolic. an official having jurisdiction over a missionary district that has no ordinary
(RC Church) one of two senior masters in a Jesuit school or college (the prefect of studies and the prefect of discipline or first prefect)
(RC Church) a cardinal in charge of a congregation of the Curia


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