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

In a legal filing last Thursday, Audible argued that the technology is protected by fair use. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Audible fires back at book publishers, says captions are fair use," 16 Sep. 2019 Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders: Week 2 preview, betting trends and notes New faces on both sides of the football have improved Oakland’s outlook with regard to protecting the quarterback and getting to opposing signal-callers. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 15 Sep. 2019 This is a classic dilemma for agro-processing: governments that want to protect a nascent industry end up hurting much larger numbers of farmers. The Economist, "Mozambique’s nut factories have made a cracking comeback," 12 Sep. 2019 And there are arguments for protecting the ball, sure. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "Ranking the Most Bizarre College Football Coach Quotes of This Century," 10 Sep. 2019 The budget for Ibama, the environmental agency charged with protecting the rainforest, has been slashed by 25 percent. Felipe Araujo, The New Republic, "The Best Way to Fight Fires in the Amazon," 5 Sep. 2019 Since 2001, federal courts have taken the agencies responsible for protecting the salmon, including NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers, to task for not doing enough to ensure the survival of the fish. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’," 16 Sep. 2019 Help the team check the health of the local reef, and collect data for projects aimed at protecting native species. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019 Staley, their 13th-year left tackle, had to be carted off from the Bengals sideline with a lower-leg injury, and that left rookie Justin Skule the massive responsibility of protecting Garoppolo’s blind side. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers 41, Bengals 17: Studs and duds — Garoppolo, offense rule but Staley injured," 15 Sep. 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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Learn More about protect

Statistics for protect

Last Updated

18 Oct 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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