protect

verb
pro·​tect | \ prə-ˈtekt \
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 \ adjective
protective \ prə-​ˈtek-​tiv \ 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

To often the school would turn a blind eye to protect their athletes and exempt them from decency and respect for people period. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Caelynn Sharing Her Story on the 'Bachelor' Is a Turning Point For the Series," 29 Jan. 2019 Mortier’s statement to the court alleges that Belgium failed to protect his mother’s life and that there was no thorough or effective investigation into her death. Maria Cheng, The Seattle Times, "Europe’s top rights court to hear Belgian euthanasia case," 8 Jan. 2019 Facebook is far from releasing the coin and is still working on the strategy, including a plan for custody assets, or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Wealth managers and charities are looking forward to an IPO-rich 2019," 21 Dec. 2018 Tech Radar has a list of tips to protect your home network from hackers: Use a secure WPA password, hide your network, and always use VPN when using a credit card. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Smart Light Bulbs Can Expose Your Home To Theft," 19 Dec. 2018 Other risk factors may prompt your doctor to suggest blood pressure or cholesterol medications to help further protect your heart. Stacey Colino, Woman's Day, "If You Experienced Pregnancy Complications, Your Heart May Be at Risk," 4 Dec. 2018 The Northwest Angle goes to war to protect its anglers. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Tiny Minnesota Town Is Completely Surrounded by Canada," 5 Nov. 2018 The Istanbul Police Department was ordered to protect Cengiz, a doctoral student in Istanbul. Fox News, "Khashoggi's fiancée under police protection, Turkish media report," 22 Oct. 2018 So the first question would be whether a dance move can be protected by copyright at all. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018

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

8 Feb 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 \
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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a servile follower or underling

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