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

Looking closer, around 35 percent of that area is formally protected, with another 35 percent showing very low outside intervention. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Our Planet Just Got a Health Check, and the Diagnosis Is Grim," 6 May 2019 Now, check out 14 picks that protect, correct, blur, and more. Allure, "The 14 Best Tinted Sunscreens for Your Face," 2 May 2019 Most low-lying river towns are protected by earthen levees, which keep water out but also send more water downstream, making flooding worse for others. ... Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Midwest City’s Downtown Is Underwater After Unusual Flood-Prevention Plan Failed," 1 May 2019 Taking the right preventative measures (more on that in a minute) will also protect your pet from tickborne illnesses. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What to Do If Your Dog Has a Tick Bite," 19 Apr. 2019 According to Entertainment Weekly, Ilya took on Raymond’s identity to protect Elizabeth’s mom, Katarina (Lotte Verbeek). Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Blacklist' Dropped a Major Bombshell About Raymond Reddington's True Identity," 29 Apr. 2019 Honorary mention, of course, goes to the bubbly Blossom, whose leadership and gentle approach to life help her to protect the people of Townsville along with her sisters Bubbles and Buttercup. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Which Superhero You Are According to Your Zodiac Sign," 26 Apr. 2019 On Wednesday President Trump will sign a presidential memorandum to help protect American consumers, manufacturers and factory workers from counterfeiting. Peter Navarro, WSJ, "Trump Has a Plan to Stop Fake Goods," 2 Apr. 2019 What’s more, Sater’s father — a mob boss in his own right — had connections to other criminals, and one of his associates helped protect Sater’s business. Alex Ward, Vox, "Felix Sater, the spy, criminal, and mafia-linked business executive tied to Trump, explained," 6 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

17 May 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

Comments on protect

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one that collects or salvages junk

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