"administrative district, office, or jurisdiction of a prefect," mid-15c., from Old French préfecture (13c.) and directly from Latin praefectura, or assembled locally from prefect + -ure. Also used as the English equivalent to Chinese fu, "an administrative division consisting of several districts" (1885).
ancient name of the country on the east shore of the Adriatic, at its greatest extending inland to the Danube, a name of obscure origin. Later a name of a division of Austria-Hungary including Carinthia, Slovenia, and the coastal region around Istria. Related: Illyrian.
1819, "division of a cell or organism," from Latin fissionem (nominative fissio) "a breaking up, cleaving," from past participle stem of findere "to split" (from PIE root *bheid- "to split"). Cognate with Old English bitan "to bite." Nuclear physics sense is 1939. As a verb, from 1929.
Japanese automaker, begun 1930s as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, named for the family name of the founder. There seems to be no one accepted explanation for the change from -d- to -t-.
mid-15c., "phalanx, ancient military division," from Old French phalange "phalanx" (13c.) and directly from Latin phalangem (nominative phalanx); see phalanx. It is the earlier form of that word in English. Related: Phalangeal; phalangic.
created and named as a U.S. territory 1817 by a division of Mississippi Territory; ultimately named for one of the native peoples who lived there, who speak Muskogean. Their name probably is from a Choctaw term meaning "plant-cutters." Related: Alabamian.
"office or official position of a secretary" in the administrative and executive sense, 1811, from French secrétariat, from Medieval Latin secretariatus "the office of a secretary," from secretarius "clerk, notary, confidential officer, confidant" (see secretary). Meaning "division of the Central Committee of the USSR" (with capital S-) is from 1926, from Russian sekretariat.
"the sponges," as an animal division or class, 1843, Modern Latin, literally "bearing pores," neuter plural of porifer, from Latin porus "pore, opening" (see pore (n.)) + -fer "bearing" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry"). So called for the numerous pores which perforate the body-wall. Related: Poriferal; poriferous.