prot·​es·​tant | \ ˈprä-tə-stənt How to pronounce protestant (audio) , sense 2 is also prə-ˈte- How to pronounce protestant (audio) \

Definition of protestant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 Protestant
a : any of a group of German princes and cities presenting a defense of freedom of conscience against an edict of the Diet of Speyer in 1529 intended to suppress the Lutheran movement
b : a member of any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth broadly : a Christian not of a Catholic or Eastern church
2 : one who makes or enters a protest



Definition of protestant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : of or relating to Protestants, their churches, or their religion
2 : making or sounding a protest the two protestant ladies up and marched outTime

Other Words from protestant


Protestantism \ ˈprä-​tə-​stən-​ˌti-​zəm How to pronounce protestant (audio) \ noun

Examples of protestant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When Baroness Scotland entered the legal profession - which at the time was 93% male, white and protestant - the odds were already heavily stacked against her. Mandeep Rai, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Fundamentalist protestants, a powerful political force in South Korea, are particularly distrustful of fringe Christian sects -- especially Shincheonji, which has been accused of poaching members of other churches. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, 6 Mar. 2020 About a quarter of all American adults identify as evangelical protestants, according to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center., 29 Dec. 2019 On July 24, the protestants testified about their concerns before an administrative judge in Oakland. Esther Mobley,, 5 Aug. 2019 Anand, Schenker and the other protestants did not respond to requests for comment. Esther Mobley,, 5 Aug. 2019 As a protestant who overthrew a Catholic, William III has become a hero to Northern Ireland's 20th century unionists, a political constituency that wished to remain a part of the U.K., rather than join the rest of Catholic Ireland. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 22 Feb. 2019 In David Ireland’s play, directed by Vicky Featherstone, Eric, a protestant and lifelong Orangeman, gets a nasty surprise: His baby granddaughter looks like I.R.A. bigwig Gerry Adams. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 21 June 2018 This comes as the Presbyterians, like other mainline protestants churches, have faced rapidly declining memberships and an identity crisis that has allowed the more radical elements within the church to hijack the movement, observers say. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, 26 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But even as modern shopping culture was born at the end of the 19th century, the protestant value of thriftiness persisted. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 The church also voted Tuesday, during its national meeting in Anaheim, to support a new task force to oversee additional changes within the protestant church, following a report that showed leaders routinely mishandled abuse cases. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 15 June 2022 Brown was born into a family of protestant clergy in 1945 in central Iowa. James E. Causey, Journal Sentinel, 7 June 2022 Southern Baptists are the country’s largest protestant denomination. Leada Gore |, al, 23 May 2022 Some 40% of Americans now identify as protestant, compared with 43% in 2019 and 52% in 2007. Ian Lovett, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2021 Horace Mann’s vision was a structured, uniform system of education that muted all diversity of culture and thought into one, homogeneous (and protestant) world view. Jeanne Allen, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 It’s a glass and steel rectangle, while Wright’s building, which sits proudly on Fifth Avenue, right up the street from that protestant monstrosity the Metropolitan, is unlike any other in the city. New York Times, 13 Aug. 2021 Most evangelical protestant churches teach that salvation is permanent, so Long’s decision to be rebaptized is unusual. Jeremy Redmon, ajc, 20 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protestant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of protestant


1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for protestant


Middle French, from Latin protestant-, protestans, present participle of protestari

Learn More About protestant

Time Traveler for protestant

Time Traveler

The first known use of protestant was in 1539

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near protestant



Protestant ethic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for protestant

Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Protestant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for protestant


Prot·​es·​tant | \ ˈprä-tə-stənt \

Kids Definition of Protestant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a member of one of the Christian churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century



Kids Definition of Protestant (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to Protestants


pro·​tes·​tant | \ prə-ˈtes-tənt How to pronounce protestant (audio) \

Legal Definition of protestant

: a person challenging an action of an administrative agency

More from Merriam-Webster on protestant

Nglish: Translation of protestant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of protestant for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!