protest

1 of 2

noun

pro·​test ˈprō-ˌtest How to pronounce protest (audio)
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

2 of 2

verb

pro·​test prə-ˈtest How to pronounce protest (audio)
ˈprō-ˌtest,
prō-ˈtest
protested; protesting; protests

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
protester noun
or protestor
prə-ˈte-stər How to pronounce protest (audio)
ˈprō-ˌte-,
prō-ˈte-
Choose the Right Synonym for protest

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Mahathir also resigned abruptly in protest of Bersatu forming a new government with UMNO and others. Eileen Ng, ajc, 16 Nov. 2022 Employees from more than 100 Starbucks stores plan to walk off the job Thursday, hoping to shutter shops for the day in protest of the company’s approach to union contract negotiations as the coffee giant launches holiday products. Lauren Kaori Gurley, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 Beijing had cut off such contacts with the U.S. in protest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in August. Seung Min Kim, Zeke Miller, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Nov. 2022 Many of the migrants were Venezuelans that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had bused to New York in protest of President Biden's border policies. Theara Coleman, The Week, 11 Nov. 2022 Andrews and hundreds of others descended on downtown Cleveland in protest of the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 7 Nov. 2022 Schools, police forces and healthcare clinics are up and running, typically manned by civil servants who went on strike in protest of the coup. Kyaw Hsan Hlaing, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022 Pro-Bolsonaro truck drivers have blocked some highways in about a dozen states in protest of Lula’s election win, according to local media. Daniel Carvalho, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2022 The Florida arrest for performing 2 Live Crew songs in protest of the rap group’s then-recent obscenity arrest. Marc Hirsh, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Oct. 2022
Verb
But what concerns experts on extremism is how hate groups of several different stripes have joined forces with mainstream conservative politicians and organizations to protest against LGBTQ friendly events and venues, particularly drag shows. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 But on Tuesday night, hundreds of workers, mostly new hires, began to protest against the terms of the payment packages offered to them and also about their living conditions. Juliana Liu, CNN, 25 Nov. 2022 Sporadic protests have erupted, with hundreds of demonstrators attacking military and U.N. installations to protest against the army’s failure to defeat the rebels. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022 Since July 2018, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have risked their lives to protest against the dismantling of democratic institutions, and the concomitant rise of political corruption and gang violence. James North, The New Republic, 12 Oct. 2022 Activists from @XRBoston are marching this morning to protest against fossil fuels. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Sep. 2022 Grand applied for a permit, but withdrew his request after a city Planning Commission meeting in which more than 100 residents logged into the Zoom meeting to protest against Grand. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2022 Look at Colin Kaepernick, who did nothing except peacefully protest against social injustice and found himself out of the league just three years after leading the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Aug. 2022 Last week, around eight hundred workers staged a sit-in at the canteen of an Amazon warehouse in Essex, to protest against a thirty-five-pence-per-hour (or three-per-cent) pay rise. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 17 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near protest

Cite this Entry

“Protest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protest. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

protest 1 of 2

noun

pro·​test ˈprō-ˌtest How to pronounce protest (audio)
: a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness or disapproval

protest

2 of 2

verb

pro·​test prə-ˈtest How to pronounce protest (audio)
ˈprō-ˌtest,
prō-ˈtest
1
: to declare positively : assert
protested their innocence
2
a
: to make a protest against
protested the higher tax rate
b
: to object strongly
protest against a new highway
protester noun
or protestor

Medical Definition

protest

Legal Definition

protest

noun

pro·​test
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
protest verb

More from Merriam-Webster on protest

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