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See also: prætor


Alternative forms[edit]


From the Anglo-Norman pretour, pretore, the Middle French preteur (from the Old French pretor; compare the Modern French préteur), and their etymon, the Classical Latin praetor (leader”, “commander”, “magistrate); the Latin praetor being contracted from *praeitor (one who goes before), from praeeō (I go before), from prae (before) + (I go); compare the Italian pretore, the Portuguese pretor, and the Spanish pretor.



praetor (plural praetors or praetores)

  1. (historical) The title designating a Roman administrative official whose role changed over time:
    1. (originally) A consul in command of the army.
    2. (after 366 BC) An annually-elected curule magistrate, subordinate to the consuls in provincial administration, and who performed some of their duties; numbering initially only one, later two (either of the praetor urbānus (urban praetor) or the praetor peregrīnus (peregrine praetor)), and eventually eighteen.
  2. (by extension) A high civic or administrative official, especially a chief magistrate or mayor. Sometimes used as a title.
  3. (seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italy, historical, translating Italian "pretore") The title of the chief magistrate, the mayor, and/or the podestà in Palermo, in Verona, and in various other parts of Italy.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]




For praeitor, from praeeō (go before, lead).



praetor m (genitive praetōris); third declension

  1. leader, head, chief, president


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative praetor praetōrēs
genitive praetōris praetōrum
dative praetōrī praetōribus
accusative praetōrem praetōrēs
ablative praetōre praetōribus
vocative praetor praetōrēs



  • praetor in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • praetor in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “praetor”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • praetor in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to appeal to the plebeian tribunes against a praetor's decision: appellare tribunos plebis (in aliqua re a praetore) (Liv. 2. 55)
    • to accuse, denounce a person: nomen alicuius deferre (apud praetorem) (Verr. 2. 38. 94)
  • praetor in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • praetor in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • praetor in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin