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

Conner, third in the NFL with 771 yards rushing, remained in the concussion protocol on Tuesday after leaving last Thursday’s blowout win against Carolina but could practice as early as Wednesday. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018," 14 Nov. 2018 Which is precisely why surgeons are coming up with alternatives, like the local protocol used by Casas, and the epidural anesthesia Lorenc often administers to mommy makeover patients. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "Life in Plastic: A Complete Guide to the "Mommy Makeover"," 16 July 2018 One reason was ideological: many internet pioneers believed that the protocols would be enough to prevent centralisation. The Economist, "More knock-on than networkThe story of the internet is all about layers," 28 June 2018 The new reporting protocol helped fire officials notice that many homes did not have a working smoke alarm. Julianna Rennie, charlotteobserver, "There have been more NC fire deaths this year than in all of 2017. It's only June.," 25 June 2018 Anderson's description of working at Hooters matches much of what's already been written about the protocol. Jaya Saxena, GQ, "Is There a Place for Hooters in 2018?," 20 June 2018 Last year, a string of more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish community centers, schools and synagogues led many institutions to rethink their security protocols. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Synagogues Across U.S. Step Up Security in Wake of Pittsburgh Shooting," 28 Oct. 2018 Hydrazine, with its many protocols and procedures, simply doesn’t fit into a future where rocket launches around the world become commonplace. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Plasma Thrusters Are About To Have Their Moment," 30 Aug. 2018 It is considered a breach in protocol for royals to speak openly about their political views, but fashion is one way the women in the family can make a statement without stepping over the line. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Like Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, Meghan Markle Sends Subtle Diplomatic Messages With Her Clothes," 12 July 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

2 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on protocol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with protocol

Spanish Central: Translation of protocol

Nglish: Translation of protocol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of protocol for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about protocol

Comments on protocol

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