protest

noun
pro·​test | \ ˈprō-ˌtest \

Definition of protest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a solemn declaration of opinion and usually of dissent: such as
a : a sworn declaration that payment of a note or bill has been refused and that all responsible signers or debtors are liable for resulting loss or damage
b : a declaration made especially before or while paying that a tax is illegal and that payment is not voluntary
2 : the act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval resigned in protest especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval
3 : a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action went under protest
4 : an objection made to an official or a governing body of a sport

protest

verb
pro·​test | \ prə-ˈtest , ˈprō-ˌtest, prō-ˈtest\
protested; protesting; protests

Definition of protest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make solemn declaration or affirmation of protest my innocence
2 : to execute or have executed a formal protest against (something, such as a bill or note)
3 : to make a statement or gesture in objection to protested the abuses of human rights

intransitive verb

1 : to make a protestation
2 : to make or enter a protest

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Other Words from protest

Verb

protester or protestor \ prə-​ˈte-​stər , ˈprō-​ˌte-​ , prō-​ˈte-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for protest

Verb

assert, declare, affirm, protest, avow mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection. assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence. asserted that modern music is just noise declare stresses open or public statement. declared her support for the candidate affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith. affirmed the existence of an afterlife protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt. protested that he really had been misquoted avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared. avowed that all investors would be repaid in full

Examples of protest in a Sentence

Noun

He heard protests from the crowd. She told him to go to bed despite his protests that he wasn't tired. There were cries of protest when the verdict was announced. The suspect surrendered his gun without protest. She was so upset by their decision that she resigned in protest. The students launched a protest against the tuition increase.

Verb

The victim's family protested at the judge's sentence. There is no use protesting. I will not change my mind. The coach protested the referee's call. The decision was protested by dozens of people. Students protested at the civil rights rally. They were protesting against the death penalty. Peace activists protested the war. She protested that the law was unfair. “But I'm innocent!” he protested.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In Tijuana there were protests against migrants last year when a caravan of some 5,000 migrants arrived there after a month-long trek across Mexico. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Mexico to Receive Some Migrants From the U.S.," 25 Jan. 2019 This October, the Women’s March joined with other groups to organize protests against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, during which at least 1,000 people demonstrated on one day in DC. Anna North, Vox, "The Women’s March changed the American left. Now anti-Semitism allegations threaten the group’s future.," 21 Dec. 2018 The scattered protests against Israel’s actions were typically led by Palestinian and Palestinian-solidarity groups, not Jewish ones. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 Schnatter stepped down as the company’s CEO at the end of last year, following his controversial remarks about the NFL protests against police brutality. David Meyer, Fortune, "Papa John's Chair John Schnatter Resigns After Using the N-Word," 12 July 2018 People attend a protest against the change of Macedonia’s name outside the parliament building in the capital on Friday. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "Greece Edges Toward Political Uncertainty Over Macedonia Deal," 13 Jan. 2019 The 20-foot balloon that flew over London, Chicago, and Los Angeles earlier this year made its New York debut during a protest organized by By the People, a grassroots campaign calling for the impeachment of President Trump. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "2018, explained in pictures by women and non-binary photographers," 21 Dec. 2018 Seeds of Peace once helped make fry bread in 30-mile-per-hour winds during Arizona’s Big Mountain Spring Healing Camp, a 40-year-long protest against coal mining, which SOP has supported for more than 20. Sarah Baird, Glamour, "Food on the Front Lines: Meet the People Fueling the Resistance," 7 Sep. 2018 Over inauguration weekend, Josh was photographed at the Women's March on Washington, a protest against President Trump. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "What You Need to Know About Josh Kushner, Brother to Jared (and Fiancé to Karlie Kloss)," 24 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The march protested the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents upon arrival to the U.S. David Yaffe-bellany, star-telegram, "Next to shelter, church's congregation defends family separations," 3 July 2018 About 600 rallies were planned for Saturday in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., potentially drawing hundreds of thousands of people to protest the Trump administration's policy on immigration. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Immigrant-rights marchers rally in Wisconsin and the nation," 30 June 2018 Thousands of Americans swarmed to airports around the country to protest the policy. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Tech Industry Is Fighting Trump—and Mostly Losing," 27 June 2018 Mario Tama/Getty Images Activists are organizing a nationwide effort on June 30 to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Nationwide protests against Trump’s family separation policy planned for June 30," 21 June 2018 These are just some of the signs that flood the skies during marches protesting President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. Zoe Harris, Marie Claire, "Trump's Child Detention Centers Are On Wikipedia's "Concentration and Internment Camps" List," 19 June 2018 On Monday, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse in downtown Phoenix to protest Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Protesters demand Gov. Doug Ducey condemn Trump immigration policy," 19 June 2018 At the beginning of the month, Sinopoli authored an open letter urging members of the mental health profession to protest this policy of separation. Shannon Fandler, Philly.com, "Philly psychologist starts petition to denounce the separation of kids and parents at the border," 18 June 2018 That’s what happened outside of Paul Ryan’s office this year, when four student protesters — Rachel Zeidenberg, Eva Sofia Esposito, Naomi Caplan, and Jordan Joseph — were arrested for protesting gun control on April 18. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "5 Protest Tactics We Loved in 2018," 29 Dec. 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for protest

Noun

Middle English, from protester

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French protester, from Latin protestari, from pro- forth + testari to call to witness — more at pro-, testament

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Statistics for protest

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for protest

The first known use of protest was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for protest

protest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of protest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something said or done that shows disagreement with or disapproval of something
: an event at which people gather together to show strong disapproval about something

protest

verb

English Language Learners Definition of protest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to show or express strong disagreement with or disapproval of something
: to show or express strong disapproval of something at a public event with other people
: to say (something that other people do not agree with or believe) in a forceful way

protest

verb
pro·​test | \ prə-ˈtest \
protested; protesting

Kids Definition of protest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to complain strongly about : object to Fans protested the umpire's decision.
2 : to declare positively : assert He protested his innocence.

Other Words from protest

protester \ prə-​ˈte-​stər , ˈprō-​ˌte-​stər \ noun

protest

noun
pro·​test | \ ˈprō-ˌtest \

Kids Definition of protest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a complaint or objection against an idea, an act, or a way of doing things
2 : an event in which people gather to show disapproval of something

protest

Medical Definition of protest

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protest

noun
pro·​test

Legal Definition of protest

1 : a solemn declaration of opinion and usually of disagreement: as
a : a solemn written declaration by a notary public or U.S. consul on behalf of the holder of an instrument (as a note) announcing dishonor and declaring the liability of all parties to the instrument for any loss or damage arising from such action also : the action of making or causing to be made such a declaration with due service of notice of dishonor
b : a declaration made by the master of a ship before a notary, consul, or other authorized officer upon arrival in port after a disaster declaring that any loss was not the fault of the crew but due to the disaster
c : a declaration made by a party especially before or while paying a tax or performing a demanded act by which the declarer asserts that the justice or legality of the tax or act is disputed and that compliance is not voluntary
2 : the act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval
under protest
: with noted objections (as of insufficient payment) and claims cashed a check under protest

Other Words from protest

protest verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on protest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with protest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for protest

Spanish Central: Translation of protest

Nglish: Translation of protest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of protest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on protest

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