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From prae- +‎ sum



praesum (present infinitive praeesse, perfect active praefuī, future participle praefutūrus); irregular conjugation

  1. I am before something
  2. I preside or rule over
  3. I lead, take the lead
  4. I command, have command, be in command of, have charge of, be in charge of
    • 27 BCE – 25 BCE, Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita libri 26.1:
      Si supplemento opus esset, suppleret de legionibus quibus P. Cornelius pro praetore in Sicilia praeesset, []
      If reinforcements were needed, he should supply them with the legions which Publius Cornelius, propraetor, was in charge of in Sicily, []


Note: This verb takes a dative object.

   Conjugation of praesum (highly irregular, suppletive, active only)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praesum praees praeest praesumus praeestis praesunt
imperfect praeeram praeerās praeerat praeerāmus praeerātis praeerant
future praeerō praeeris, praeere praeerit praeerimus praeeritis praeerunt
perfect praefuī praefuistī praefuit praefuimus praefuistis praefuērunt, praefuēre
pluperfect praefueram praefuerās praefuerat praefuerāmus praefuerātis praefuerant
future perfect praefuerō praefueris praefuerit praefuerimus praefueritis praefuerint
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praesim praesīs praesit praesīmus praesītis praesint
imperfect praeessem, praeforem praeessēs, praeforēs praeesset, praeforet praeessēmus, praeforēmus praeessētis, praeforētis praeessent, praeforent
perfect praefuerim praefuerīs praefuerit praefuerīmus praefuerītis praefuerint
pluperfect praefuissem praefuissēs praefuisset praefuissēmus praefuissētis praefuissent
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praees praeeste
future praeestō praeestō praeestōte praesuntō
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives praeesse praefuisse praefutūrus esse, praefore
participles praesēns praefutūrus


  • praesum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • praesum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • praesum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to have the management of the state: rei publicae praeesse
    • to perform official duties: munere fungi, muneri praeesse
    • to be president of a court: iudicio praeesse
    • to preside over an inquiry: quaestioni praeesse
    • to be at the head of an army: praeesse exercitui
    • to be commander-in-chief: imperii summae praeesse