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.
Hence, a mayor or magistrate.
© Webster 1913.