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[pruh-tek-shuh n] /prəˈtɛk ʃən/
the act of protecting or the state of being protected; preservation from injury or harm.
a thing, person, or group that protects:
This vaccine is a protection against disease.
Insurance. coverage (def 1).
  1. money paid to racketeers for a guarantee against threatened violence.
  2. bribe money paid to the police, politicians, or other authorities for overlooking criminal activity.
Economics. protectionism.
a document that assures safety from harm, delay, or the like, for the person, persons, or property specified in it.
Archaic. a document given by the U.S. customs authorities to a sailor traveling abroad certifying that the holder is a citizen of the U.S.
Origin of protection
1275-1325; Middle English proteccio(u)n < Late Latin prōtēctiōn- (stem of prōtēctiō) a covering in front. See protect, -ion
Related forms
protectional, adjective
nonprotection, noun
overprotection, noun
1. security, refuge, safety. 2. guard, defense, shield, bulwark. 3. aegis, sponsorship. 7. pass, permit.
Synonym Study
2. See cover. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for protection
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Those who were initiated were supposed to be peculiarly under the protection of the gods.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But the friends of protection did not leave the Premier without opposition.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • protection grew fierce, and fanned the burning sense of wrong.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • I want you, moreover, to advocate our American doctrine of protection.

  • I knew how useless it was, and I remembered that he himself had armed me for my protection.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
British Dictionary definitions for protection


the act of protecting or the condition of being protected
something that protects
  1. the imposition of duties or quotas on imports, designed for the protection of domestic industries against overseas competition, expansion of domestic employment, etc
  2. Also called protectionism. the system, policy, or theory of such restrictions Compare free trade
a document that grants protection or immunity from arrest or harassment to a person, esp a traveller
(mountaineering) security on a climb provided by running belays, etc
  1. Also called protection money. money demanded by gangsters for freedom from molestation
  2. freedom from molestation purchased in this way
Derived Forms
protectionism, noun
protectionist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for protection

mid-14c., "shelter, defense; keeping, guardianship;" late 14c. as "that which protects," from Old French proteccion "protection, shield" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin protectionem (nominative protectio) "a covering over," noun of action from past participle stem of protegere "protect, cover in front," from pro- "in front" + tegere "to cover" (see stegosaurus).

A common Old English word for "protect" was beorgan. International economic sense is from 1789. In gangster sense, "freedom from molestation in exchange for money," it is attested from 1860. Ecological sense of "attempted preservation by laws" is from 1880 (originally of wild birds in Britain). Also in medieval England, "the protection or maintenance of a lord or patron; sponsorship." To put (someone) out of protection meant to deprive him or her of the security of the protection of the kingdom's laws.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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