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

Since 2013, states have enacted into law nearly 2½ times the number of bills protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners as compared to bills restricting those rights. Victoria Mcgrane, BostonGlobe.com, "While Washington stalls, activists see optimism in gun control efforts at the state level," 6 Aug. 2019 In protecting her writers, Morrison fought for those who would follow and the readers who needed them. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Toni Morrison’s Kaleidoscopic Vision of Literature," 6 Aug. 2019 Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and more have online hubs outlining efforts for running more environmentally friendly data centers, protecting human rights in the supply chain, and the like. Anna Washenko, Ars Technica, "Google publishes sustainability plan for hardware, but its impact is uncertain," 5 Aug. 2019 Local doctors and nurses, clad in stifling moon suits to protect against the virus, work under unimaginable conditions. Dallas News, "Amid a new outbreak, book revisits Ebola's ravages," 5 Aug. 2019 Part of the basis for that, according to Flynn, is that the Minnesota Data Practices Act protects the police personnel data up to that point. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Judge may grant new trial in assault case after defense says Ramsey County Attorney’s Office didn’t share information," 2 Aug. 2019 Mixton also argued that police violated his rights under section eight of the Arizona state constitution, which protects the right to privacy. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizonans have a right to privacy online, court rules," 31 July 2019 Highlighting the importance in protecting this magic by cleaning up our oceans and finding an alternative for single use plastics. Andrea Romano, Sunset Magazine, "Watch This Spectacular Video of a Massive “Stampede” of Dolphins Near Laguna Beach," 30 July 2019 That means, in theory, that trade deals would get done that are much more focused on advancing environmental goals and protecting labor rights than on expanding American exporters’ access to foreign markets. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren’s vision for changing America’s trade policy, explained," 29 July 2019

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

9 Aug 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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