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

Step 5: Moisturize Though your hair is already feeling back to normal at this stage, use the L.O.C. method to further protect your hair’s new glow. Essence, "4 Steps To Restoring Your Hair After a Protective Style," 3 Sep. 2019 And what use are Accel’s and Benchmark’s policies that no one can see? VC firms need to think about how these policies do nothing to protect founders from harm. Wired, "It’s Way Too Early to Talk About #MeToo and Redemption," 3 Sep. 2019 They're used in laptops to protect hard drives from damage, detect sudden free-fall, and switch the hard drive off so that the heads don't crash on the platters inside. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The World's Smallest Accelerometer Could Transform Wearables," 3 Sep. 2019 That’s where two folks from the past show up to protect the future: Hamilton’s Sarah and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Linda Hamilton kicks butt in action-packed Terminator: Dark Fate trailer," 30 Aug. 2019 Hydrogen may help eliminate free radicals from your body, helping to protect cellular damage and therefore, decreasing disease risk. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Truth About Hydrogen Water and Its Benefits, According to a Nutritionist," 29 Aug. 2019 Batton is seeking damages for loss of income and medical costs against the festival organizers and park officials for failure to take reasonable measures to protect his safety and failure to enforce festival rules. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "Ohio Man Sues After Legless Juggalo Crashes Into Him With a Golf Cart at Insane Clown Posse Gathering," 29 Aug. 2019 Given the refigerant’s ozone-damaging properties, the move is the latest step in the EPA’s ongoing effort to protect the Earth’s ozone layer. Jessica Levy, Indianapolis Star, "Decoding what the R22 freon ban will mean for your air conditioner," 28 Aug. 2019 Nora is left to protect and watch over an invalid mother, her youngest son, and an annoying teen ward who conducts séances in town. Ryan Chapman, Longreads, "‘Nobody in This Book Is Going to Catch a Break’: Téa Obreht on “Inland”," 28 Aug. 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

6 Sep 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

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