pro·​tec·​tor·​ate | \prə-ˈtek-t(ə-)rət \

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

France has deep ties to Lebanon, a former protectorate. Washington Post, "Paris conference raises over $11 billion to help Lebanon," 6 Apr. 2018 The problem is, is what NATO has turned into is a protectorate. Fox News, "Steve Bannon on NATO: Trump is saying 'no more games'," 12 July 2018 Sarra Hannachi plays a young woman who escapes political unrest in the former French protectorate of Tunisia, hoping to make a better, safer life overseas. Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, "History repeats itself over and over again at the African Diaspora Film Festival," 8 June 2018 This simple tableau captures the shifting fortunes of the tiny Dutch protectorate that gained its independence just seven years ago. Kevin Baxter,, "Curacao an island unto itself when it comes to producing big-league ballplayers," 26 Mar. 2018 The revenue is made available to all 50 states and five U.S. protectorates, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Ryan Zinke's appearance puts spotlight on excise tax and conservation programs," 21 Mar. 2018 In the era just before she was born, Egypt was no longer a protectorate of Britain, but British influence was still high. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "A Ballerina’s Story, Once Upon a Time in Egypt," 13 Mar. 2018 The majority-black city went from a federal protectorate to independence, and the region became home to a large African American middle class. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "Still ‘bigger than life’: D.C. unveils bronze statue honoring former mayor Marion Barry," 3 Mar. 2018 Pretenders claiming to represent the duwailat, or principalities, that made up the British protectorate of Aden are dusting off old flags. The Economist, "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are gobbling up Yemen," 22 Feb. 2018

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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The first known use of protectorate was in 1662

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English Language Learners Definition of protectorate

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on protectorate

Spanish Central: Translation of protectorate

Nglish: Translation of protectorate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of protectorate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about protectorate

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