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

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 The secretary of state's office says that's not possible because emergency rules designed to protect voter privacy require that ballots are separated from their outer envelopes – where the signature is – after they are initially verified. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Trump plans trip to Georgia amid his election battle," 27 Nov. 2020 To protect the privacy of the families, the postal service had to act as liaison at first. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, "A new doc peeks inside the USPS's Operation Santa program," 27 Nov. 2020 The Department of Labor could do more to protect agricultural and meat processing workers and their unions. Charlie Mitchell, The New Republic, "The Policy Mess Behind the Thanksgiving Feast," 26 Nov. 2020 Because the state and city had reopened restaurants, Josh, who asked to be identified only by his first name to protect his privacy, assumed that local health officials had figured out a patchwork of precautions that would make indoor dining safe. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Why You Can Eat in a Restaurant but Can’t Have Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2020 Robert Travis, president of the Independent Pilots Association, urged the company do more to protect employees. Washington Post, "Live updates: More than 85,700 coronavirus patients hospitalized nationwide, shattering records (again)," 24 Nov. 2020 Holder implored residents to take the virus seriously and take precautions to protect the vulnerable members of the community. NBC News, "Kentucky teenage cancer survivor dies from Covid-19," 23 Nov. 2020 One of the keys sent an alert to B.C., a freshman at the university who asked to be identified by her initials to protect her privacy. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A cellphone-based COVID alert soon will be available to UC San Diego Health users," 21 Nov. 2020 The inmate’s identity and arrest details are being withheld in order to protect his medical privacy, sheriff’s officials said. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward jail inmate died of COVID-19, medical examiner says," 21 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for protect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for protect

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Protect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protect. Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for protect

protect

verb
How to pronounce protect (audio)

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
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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