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 protect (audio) \ adjective
protective \ prə-​ˈtek-​tiv How to pronounce protect (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 With that, your body can then create the necessary immune response to protect you. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Cosmetic Fillers and COVID-19 Vaccines: Here's What You Need to Know," 6 Jan. 2021 Attorneys for the former employees say their clients were looking out for Bashinsky, aiming to protect her at a vulnerable time. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Joann Bashinsky, widow of Golden Flake CEO, dies at 89," 5 Jan. 2021 Health officials must find and communicate with vulnerable, hard-to-reach people; those individuals, in turn, must be aided in taking steps to protect themselves. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, "What the San Francisco Bay Area Can Teach Us About Fighting a Pandemic," 4 Jan. 2021 As a catcher, the only thing Godfrey had to protect himself was a helmet, breast pad and glove. Alexis Cubit, USA TODAY, "Godfrey recollects time as part of Negro Baseball League on 100th anniversary," 1 Jan. 2021 For now, though, responders emphasize that companies and other organizations can still protect themselves. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Ransomware Is Headed Down a Dire Path," 29 Dec. 2020 Congress is considering legislation that would create a database of burial sites, and provide funding to research and protect them. CBS News, "Black family works to restore roughly 200-year-old cemetery in Texas to reclaim legacy, honor ancestors," 29 Dec. 2020 For healthcare workers exposed to the coronavirus on a daily basis, the first injections offered emotional relief and a chance to urge the EU’s 450 million people to protect themselves and those around them. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Why L.A. is uniquely vulnerable," 28 Dec. 2020 For health care workers who have been battling the virus with only masks and shields to protect themselves, the vaccines represented an emotional relief as the virus continues to kill. Fox News, "'Believe in science': EU kicks off COVID-19 vaccine campaign," 28 Dec. 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

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Protect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protect. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on protect

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