protect

verb
pro·​tect | \prə-ˈtekt \
protected; protecting; protects

Definition of protect 

transitive verb

1a : to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction : guard

b : defend sense 1c protect the goal

2 : to maintain the status or integrity of especially through financial or legal guarantees: such as

a : to save from contingent financial loss

b : to foster or shield from infringement or restriction salesmen with protected territories protect one's rights specifically : to restrict competition for (something, such as a domestic industry) by means of tariffs or trade controls

3 : defend sense 5 protect a lead

intransitive verb

: to provide a guard or shield protects against tooth decay

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Other Words from protect

protectable \ prə-​ˈtek-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
protective \ prə-​ˈtek-​tiv \ adjective
protectively adverb
protectiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for protect

Synonyms

bulwark, cover, defend, fence, fend, forfend, guard, keep, safeguard, screen, secure, shield, ward

Antonyms

assail, assault, attack

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Choose the Right Synonym for protect

defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack. defend the country protect implies the use of something (such as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure. a hard hat to protect your head shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack. shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger. White House entrances are well guarded safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger. our civil liberties must be safeguarded

Examples of protect in a Sentence

He had no raincoat to protect himself from the rain. She keeps her jewelry protected in a safe. You have to protect your business against fraud. New laws have been passed to protect your privacy. The forest is protected by federal law. The high taxes on imported goods are intended to protect domestic producers. Sunscreen helps to protect against sunburn. The insurance protects you against flooding. The insurance does not protect against damage caused by earthquakes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

How will Alaric try to protect the Salvatore School and find Landon? Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "8 Questions That Need To Be Answered In 'Legacies' Season 1," 26 Oct. 2018 Princess Eugenie is an ambassador for Project 0, an organization that works to protect and restore the ocean. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "How Princess Eugenie's Wedding Broke Royal Protocol," 13 Oct. 2018 Most bedding sites recommend a duvet cover with a thread count of 300+ to ensure that your duvet stays protected. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to the Duvet Cover," 11 Oct. 2018 Amidst all of the turmoil and civic unrest, divided over the best way to protect our country and over whether it should be respected for its power or its ideals. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Henry Kissinger's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 The beach is protected from the wind by steep bluffs on each side and by polluters and developers by the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, a San Mateo County-run conversation project. SFChronicle.com, "5 hidden beaches around Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 An ailing old man’s fragile heart must be protected at all costs in The Swing (Al Marjouha), a low-budget but high-impact documentary in which Lebanese director Cyril Aris chronicles an upsetting story from his family. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Swing' ('Al Marjouha'): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 12 July 2018 The Service is also protected as a collective work or compilation under U.S. copyright and other laws and treaties. Bloomberg, "Terms of Service," 8 July 2018 New oaks and Chinese pistachios must always be protected with paper tree wrap for their first two summers in our landscapes. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "Young oaks and pistachios need to be protected from sunscald," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of protect

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for protect

Middle English, from Latin protectus, past participle of protegere, from pro- in front + tegere to cover — more at pro-, thatch

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Statistics for protect

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for protect

The first known use of protect was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for protect

protect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of protect

: to keep (someone or something) from being harmed, lost, etc.

: to save (someone) from financial loss caused by fire, injury, damage, etc.

sports : to try to stop opponents from scoring at (your goal)

protect

verb
pro·​tect | \prə-ˈtekt \
protected; protecting

Kids Definition of protect

: keep from being harmed especially by covering or shielding : guard

protect

transitive verb
pro·​tect

Legal Definition of protect 

1 : to shield from injury or harm protecting public health and safety

2 : to secure or preserve against encroachment, infringement, restriction, or violation : maintain the status or integrity of especially through legal or constitutional guarantees protect a work against copyright infringement the First Amendment protects speech

3 : to restrict competition for (as domestic industries) by means of tariffs or trade controls

Other Words from protect

protectable or protectible adjective

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Comments on protect

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