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From Latin praesidens (accusative: praesidentem), meaning 'president, leader'. The Latin word is the substantivized present participle of the verb praesideo (infinitive: praesidere). The verb is composed from prae 'before' and sedere 'sit'. The original meaning of the verb is 'to sit before' in the sense of presiding at a meeting. A secondary meaning of the verb is 'to command, to govern'. So praesidens means 'the presiding one on a meeting' or 'governor, commander'.
- The head of state of a republic, a representative democracy and sometimes (in cases of constitutional violations) a dictatorship.
- The primary leader of a corporation. Not to be confused with CEO, which is a related but separate position that is sometimes held by a different person.
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