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 Midwives like Domfe have to protect themselves and, at the same time, sustain the level of care for expectant mothers. Aisha Salaudeen, CNN, "Midwives face fear and new challenges as the coronavirus spreads in Africa," 13 May 2020 Anybody who would say, 'Drink bleach, use bleach to protect yourself' is not much of a medical expert. CBS News, "Schumer urges Trump administration to release CDC report on reopening guidelines," 13 May 2020 For McConnell, suppressing votes was a higher priority than protecting them from a foreign adversary. 2. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The 2016 Election Was Just a Dry Run," 11 May 2020 For every reasonable guideline there is to help me protect my kids and elderly dad, there is a cabal of idiots protesting with guns for their right to get a hair cut. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'The emotional needs of a cactus'," 8 May 2020 The company will also be sharing education tutorials and more with drivers, based on the CDC's guidelines for how ride-share drivers can protect themselves and their passengers. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Lyft to Require Face Masks During Rides," 7 May 2020 This will protect the clipping for re-planting, and help the main plant grow. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "3 Easy Way to Freshen Up Your Yard, Without Spending Money," 5 May 2020 Liability insurance protects the couple if there is damage to the venue caused by themselves or a wedding guest. Heather Hall, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Insurance," 5 May 2020 Smokers are almost certainly not protected from initial infection by SARS-CoV-2. The Economist, "Covid-19 Smokers seem less likely than non-smokers to fall ill with covid-19," 2 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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Protect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protect. Accessed 28 May. 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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