Definition of protocol
- network protocols
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
The soldier's actions constitute a breach of military protocol.
They did not follow the proper diplomatic protocols.
What is the proper protocol for declining a job offer?
the Geneva Protocol of 1925
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protocol.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
In Late Greek, the word prōtokollon referred to the first sheet of a papyrus roll bearing the date of its manufacture. In some instances, it consisted of a flyleaf that was glued to the outside of a manuscript's case and provided a description of its contents. Coming from the Greek prefix prōto- ("first") and the noun kolla ("glue"), prōtokollon gave us our word protocol. In its earliest uses in the 15th century, the word referred to a prologue or preface and also to a record of a document or transaction. In the late 19th century, it began to be used in reference to the etiquette observed by the Head of State of France in ceremonies and relations with other dignitaries. This sense has since extended in meaning to cover any code of proper conduct.
First Known Use: 1541See Words from the same year
: a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations
: a plan for a scientific experiment or for medical treatment
: a document that describes the details of a treaty or formal agreement between countries
What made you want to look up protocol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ