protect

verb
pro·​tect | \ prə-ˈtekt How to pronounce protect (audio) \
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 How to pronounce protectable (audio) \ adjective
protective \ prə-​ˈtek-​tiv How to pronounce protective (audio) \ 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

Somehow, the Zika virus can sneak from the mother's bloodstream across the placenta, which protects and nourishes the fetus, and target the fetus' brain. latimes.com, "Patients will pay for the crackdown on fetal tissue research, scientists fear," 10 June 2019 In doing so, the shinise firms are like custodians that protect local traditions. Innan Sasaki, Quartz at Work, "How to build a business that will last centuries," 10 June 2019 Rebecca Kiessling, an antiabortion family attorney who was conceived by rape, said the laws protect women who choose to keep their pregnancies. al.com, "In Alabama, rapists have parental rights," 10 June 2019 After burial, the minute shells may recrystallize or dissolve unless they are protected by mud that blocks the flow of water, and the ones that survive as fossils are highly valuable to paleontologists because of their unaltered biominerals. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian, "How Do Fossils Form?," 8 June 2019 In 1973 Swiss Avenue did become Dallas’s first historic district, protecting blocks of homes. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Virginia McAlester Is the Most Popular Architecture Writer in America," 6 June 2019 The men and women of our armed forces sacrifice a lot to serve and protect our country, and deserve our respect and support. Vincent Andrunas, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Serving those who serve," 5 June 2019 This would be the federal government protecting and promoting tourism, and helping fuel the economy, in one of our crown-jewel cities. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Let's Build a Stadium in New Orleans That Can Host the Super Bowl Every Year," 5 June 2019 Beginning this fall, Apple Watch will track your activity trends over time, help protect your hearing by alerting you to harmful levels of ambient noise, and allow users to track their menstrual cycles. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "The Apple Watch Is Now the Control Center for Your Health," 4 June 2019

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

14 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce protect (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on protect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with protect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for protect

Spanish Central: Translation of protect

Nglish: Translation of protect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of protect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on protect

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