protocol

noun
pro·to·col | \ ˈprō-tə-ˌkȯl , -ˌkōl , -ˌkäl , -kəl \

Definition of protocol 

1 : an original draft, minute, or record of a document or transaction

2a : a preliminary memorandum often formulated and signed by diplomatic negotiators as a basis for a final convention or treaty

b : the records or minutes of a diplomatic conference or congress that show officially the agreements arrived at by the negotiators

3a : a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence (as in diplomatic exchange and in the military services) a breach of protocol

b : a set of conventions governing the treatment and especially the formatting of data in an electronic communications system network protocols

c : convention sense 3a,b

4 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure

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protocol and Politics

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.

Examples of protocol in a Sentence

Typically, those who make pronouncements like this assume (without saying so) that the tongues making up the multitude will belong to persons who are committed to the protocols of rational inquiry; frivolous persons, persons who exploit those protocols or play with them to gain political ends, are not imagined. —Stanley Fish, Harper's, December 2005 Purcell even flouted the timeless protocol of pretending to admire the work of his fellow editors. —Tobias Wolff, Old School, 2003 Today, thanks to the civil-rights movement, white guilt is propriety—an utterly invisible code that defines decency in our culture with thousands of little protocols we no longer even think about. —Shelby Steele, Harper's, November 2002 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

And George follows royal protocol by dressing in shorts. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "You Have to See Princess Charlotte and Prince George's Outfits From the Royal Christening," 9 July 2018 The document also could have new relevance in the aftermath of a Justice Department inspector general report that criticized Comey for departing from established protocol in the Clinton investigation. CBS News, "Report: Trump's lawyers blast Comey as "Machiavellian" in memo to Mueller," 7 July 2018 The document also could have new relevance in the aftermath of a Justice Department inspector general report that criticized Comey for departing from established protocol in the Clinton investigation. Eric Tucker, Fox News, "Trump lawyers attacked Comey as 'Machiavellian' in memo to Mueller," 7 July 2018 The document also could have new relevance in the aftermath of a Justice Department inspector general report that criticized Comey for departing from established protocol in the Clinton investigation. Eric Tucker, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump lawyers call Comey ‘Machiavellian’ in note to Mueller," 7 July 2018 OnStar follows established protocol from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch in the medical instructions to gives. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "How OnStar prepares to save your life," 3 July 2018 The uptick in federal enforcement actions, along with the stiff penalties, underscore the need for health care providers to establish protocols for preventing and responding to the unauthorized disclosure of protected health information. Anne M. Murphy, Laura B. Angelini, STAT, "Criminal prosecution for violating HIPAA: an emerging threat to health care professionals," 2 July 2018 The Chicago Fire Department is expected to investigate whether paramedics at that shooting scene had followed proper protocol, reports say. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Paramedics thought teen was dead, but he was still alive. He died the next day, medical examiner says," 19 June 2018 Some researchers see potential in probiotics, but the case for them requires more investigation, and there are no established protocols for how much or what strains to consume for various purposes. Fortune, "Why Washing Your Hands Too Much Could Make You Sick," 12 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of protocol

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for protocol

Middle French prothocole, from Medieval Latin protocollum, from Late Greek prōtokollon first sheet of a papyrus roll bearing date of manufacture, from Greek prōt- prot- + kollan to glue together, from kolla glue; perhaps akin to Middle Dutch helen to glue

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for protocol

The first known use of protocol was in 1541

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More Definitions for protocol

protocol

noun

English Language Learners Definition of protocol

: 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

protocol

noun
pro·to·col | \ ˈprōt-ə-ˌkȯl, -ˌkōl, -ˌkäl \

Medical Definition of protocol 

1 : an official account of a proceeding especially : the notes or records relating to a case, an experiment, or an autopsy

2 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure cryotherapy was performed in approximately half of the eyes through a randomization protocolJournal of the American Medical Association

protocol

noun
pro·to·col | \ ˈprō-tə-ˌkȯl \

Legal Definition of protocol 

1 : an original draft, minute, or record of a document or transaction

2a : a preliminary memorandum often formulated and signed by diplomatic negotiators as a basis for a final convention or treaty

b : the records or minutes of a diplomatic conference or congress that show officially the agreements arrived at by the negotiators

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Comments on protocol

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