An annually elected magistrate of the ancient Roman Republic; SYN. pretor.
Ancient Roman magistrate of high rank; belonging to or forming Roman emperor's bodyguard.
In ancient Rome, a magistrate, elected annually, who assisted the consuls (the chief magistrates) and presided over the civil courts. After a year in office, a praetor would act as a provincial governor for a further year.
The number of praetors was finally increased to eight. The office declined in importance under the emperors.