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.
Also, praefect.

1300–50; Middle English < Latin praefectus overseer, director (noun use of past participle of praeficere to make prior, i.e., put in charge), equivalent to prae- pre- + -fectus (combining form of factus, past participle of facere to make, do1); see fact

subprefect, noun
underprefect, noun

perfect, prefect (see usage note at perfect). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prefect (ˈpriːfɛkt)
1.  (in France, Italy, etc) the chief administrative officer in a department
2.  (in France, etc) the head of a police force
3.  (Brit) a schoolchild appointed to a position of limited power over his fellows
4.  (in ancient Rome) any of several magistrates or military commanders
5.  RC Church Also called: prefect apostolic an official having jurisdiction over a missionary district that has no ordinary
6.  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)
7.  RC Church a cardinal in charge of a congregation of the Curia
[C14: from Latin praefectus one put in charge, from praeficere to place in authority over, from prae before + facere to do, make]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1350, from O.Fr. prefect (12c.), from L. præfectus "public overseer, director," prop. pp. of præficere "to put in front, to set over, put in authority," from præ- "in front, before" + root of facere (pp. factus) "to perform" (see factitious). Spelling
restored from M.E. prefet. Meaning "administrative head of the Paris police" is from 1827; meaning "senior pupil designated to keep order in an Eng. school" is from 1865. Prefecture "administrative district of a prefect" is recorded from 1577.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But with a few different words it would have made prefect sense.
Each region and department is headed by a prefect appointed by the central government.
The prefect grew furious at his constancy, and at length commanded his head to be beaten to pieces.
Find the prefect spot for your beach towel and soak up the sun.
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