Pre"tor(?), n. [L. praetor, for praeitor, fr. praeire to go before; prae before + ire to go. See Issue.] 1. (Rom. Antiq.) A civil officer or magistrate among the ancient Romans.
Originally the pretor was a kind of third consul; but at an early period two pretors were appointed, the first of whom (praetor urbanus) was a kind of mayor or city judge; the other (praetor peregrinus) was a judge of cases in which one or both of the parties were foreigners. Still later, the number of pretors, or judges, was further increased.
2. Hence, a mayor or magistrate.
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