pro·​tec·​tion·​ist | \ prə-ˈtek-sh(ə-)nist How to pronounce protectionist (audio) \

Definition of protectionist

: an advocate of government economic protection for domestic producers through restrictions on foreign competitors

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from protectionist

protectionism \ prə-​ˈtek-​shə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce protectionist (audio) \ noun
protectionist adjective

Examples of protectionist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Europe targets our tech companies with protectionist rules. Jeremy Lott, Washington Examiner, "Business sectors consider impact of Biden administration," 21 Jan. 2021 At the same time, India has taken a protectionist turn, raising tariffs on dozens of goods and quitting negotiations to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Trump Deepened Ties With India, Leaving New Challenges for Biden," 21 Jan. 2021 To many Americans, Donald Trump’s protectionist instincts sound like a good strategy to reverse the tide, cut imports, and bring back the good old days of American manufacturing. Mike Watson, National Review, "Minimum Wages: A Californian Warning for Florida," 10 Nov. 2020 Given obvious benefits, a protectionist recourse to preserving fading utilities at the expense of renewable energy upstarts might slow down growth in the sector but will ultimately prove futile, Tilleard says. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Solar providers in Africa are on a collision course with struggling national grid companies," 10 Dec. 2020 Bush, by making protectionist gestures, was now departing from the tradition of his father and grandfather. Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker, "The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump," 23 Oct. 2020 Muddling the picture even further are trading alliances from Africa to Asia strained by three years of tariff wars and protectionist sentiment only heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shawn Donnan,, "Global Trade-Chief Race Slows as U.S., EU Split on Finalists," 20 Oct. 2020 As a result, countries are left to pound each other with tariffs and other protectionist policies just like the old days that the U.S., prior to Trump, had worked diligently to end. Jon Healey, Star Tribune, "World Trade Organization, in ruling for China, bares its toothless gums," 17 Sep. 2020 Trump is an outspoken protectionist, regarding imports as bad and domestic production as good. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Americans love free trade. Trump and Biden don’t.," 16 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protectionist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of protectionist

1834, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about protectionist

Time Traveler for protectionist

Time Traveler

The first known use of protectionist was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Statistics for protectionist

Last Updated

28 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Protectionist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on protectionist

What made you want to look up protectionist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!