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Prefect (from the Latin praefectus, substantive adjectival[1] form of praeficere: "put in front", i.e., in charge) is a magisterial title of varying definition, but essentially refers to the leader of an administrative area.

A prefect's office, department, or area of control is called a prefecture. The words "prefect" and "prefecture" are also used, more or less conventionally, to render analogous words in other languages, especially Romance languages.

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