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 Qumran was destroyed by the Romans, circa 73 CE, and historians believe the scrolls were hidden in the caves by a sect called the Essenes to protect them from being destroyed. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists discover that four “blank” Dead Sea Scrolls actually have text," 27 May 2020 There are also good characters who form a happy group, a family, a club, and protect it. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "A Novel Way to Think About Literary Categories," 25 May 2020 Though the agency’s own budget has been protected, a wider squeeze on public-health funding has undermined its ability to help states. The Economist, "To hell with experts How the world’s premier public-health agency was handcuffed," 23 May 2020 The payments, however, were not protected from private debt collectors, who could still garnish the relief funds if a person owed money to a private institution. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Senators introduce bipartisan bill to prevent relief payments from being garnished by private debt collectors," 22 May 2020 Getting outside this weekend and throughout the summer will necessitate collective adherence to the Center for Disease Control's guidelines for protecting yourself from the novel coronavirus. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Outdoor summer activities you can do in Wisconsin during the coronavirus pandemic and tips on staying safe," 22 May 2020 With that in mind, leaders should fight the urge to micromanage their teams and instead act as advocates for their newly remote employees, encouraging them to set clear boundaries and to protect themselves from work-from-home exhaustion. Jason Wingard, Quartz at Work, "The “future of work” is here, thanks to Covid-19," 22 May 2020 Renters are temporarily protected from eviction if their landlords have federally backed loans. Joe Light, Bloomberg.com, "The Pandemic Makes Fannie and Freddie Even More Indispensable," 21 May 2020 The Scrimgers put the furniture outside to protect it and management threatened to fine them for doing so. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "Rent Is Still Due in Kushnerville," 21 May 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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Protect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protect. Accessed 1 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on protect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for protect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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