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From Italian, from Latin potestas power, magistracy. See potent.


podesta (plural podestas)

  1. One of the chief magistrates of the Italian republics in the Middle Ages.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Brande & C. to this entry?)
  2. A mayor, alderman, or other magistrate, in some towns of Italy.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.