pro·​tec·​tor·​ate | \ prə-ˈtek-t(ə-)rət How to pronounce protectorate (audio) \

Definition of protectorate

1a : government by a protector
b capitalized : the government of England (1653–59) under the Cromwells
c : the rank, office, or period of rule of a protector
2a : the relationship of superior authority assumed by one power or state over a dependent one
b : the dependent political unit or territory in such a relationship

Examples of protectorate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Europe’s scramble for Africa saw Zanzibar become a British protectorate in 1890, then finally, a violent 1964 revolution led to Zanzibar’s union with Tanganyika, now known as Tanzania. Sarah Khan, New York Times, "Zanzibar in the Rain," 22 Jan. 2020 In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces captured the British protectorate of North Borneo., "This day in history," 19 Jan. 2020 Published two years before the end of France’s protectorate in Morocco, The Simple Past was a journey to the end of the colonial night, written with an intransigence and fury that Louis-Ferdinand Céline might have admired. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, "Driss Chraïbi & the Novel Morocco Had to Ban," 2 Jan. 2020 Before gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1978, Tuvalu was part of Britain’s Gilbert and Ellice Islands protectorate. Alexander Lee, Washington Post, "Tuvalu is a tiny island nation of 11,000 people. It’s cashing in thanks to Twitch.," 23 Dec. 2019 But for Russia, the reshuffling of northeastern Syria, which had in recent years been a virtual American protectorate, yielded two main benefits. New York Times, "In Syria, Russia Is Pleased to Fill an American Void," 15 Oct. 2019 In the United States dengue is found only in Puerto Rico and a few other offshore territories and protectorates. Helen Branswell, STAT, "New data on Takeda’s dengue vaccine look promising, but with troubling exception," 23 Nov. 2019 Dengue is found only in Puerto Rico and a few other U.S. offshore territories and protectorates. Ed Silverman, STAT, "A Takeda vaccine for dengue appears effective, but the story is nuanced," 6 Nov. 2019 And then gradually over the years, British protectorates were established throughout the territory. Aisha Salaudeen, CNN, "Burna Boy reflects on Nigeria's independence with his new music video 'Another Story'," 1 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protectorate.' 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 protectorate

1662, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for protectorate

Time Traveler

The first known use of protectorate was in 1662

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Protectorate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce protectorate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of protectorate

: a small country that is controlled and protected by a larger one

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