protocol

noun
pro·​to·​col | \ ˈprō-tə-ˌkȯl How to pronounce protocol (audio) , -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
4 : a detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment, or procedure

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web In late January, after returning from the health and safety protocol and playing in eight straight games veteran guard George Hill appeared on the injury report with neck soreness. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2022 Trudeau has blamed his country’s record on emissions to date on the previous Conservative government, which in 2011 withdrew from the Kyoto protocol, a precursor to the 2015 Paris agreement. Brian Platt, Bloomberg.com, 29 Mar. 2022 The show is the show is the show — fans will be soothed by its dogged commitment to its structure, while detractors will once again note, for instance, the fairly ludicrous departure from real-life courtroom protocol. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 22 Feb. 2022 The hack is likely one of the largest thefts from a DeFi protocol, which bill themselves as allowing users to bypass traditional intermediaries to borrow and lend digital assets. Olga Kharif, Fortune, 3 Feb. 2022 Under a public health authority, known as Title 42, authorities can swiftly remove migrants encountered at the US southern border, effectively barring those seeking asylum from doing so and marking an unprecedented departure from previous protocol. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, 31 Jan. 2022 Bosa has been cleared from the concussion protocol. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 22 Jan. 2022 Nick Bosa was cleared from the concussion protocol Friday. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Jan. 2022 Besides not having Beagle, the Coyotes just got centers Travis Boyd and Christian Fischer back from COVID protocol. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of protocol was in 1541

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Protococcus

protocol

protocolar

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Protocol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protocol. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for protocol

protocol

noun
pro·​to·​col | \ ˈprōt-ə-ˌkȯl, -ˌkōl, -ˌkäl How to pronounce protocol (audio) \

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 How to pronounce protocol (audio) \

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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