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[pruh-tek-ter-it] /prəˈtɛk tər ɪt/
the relation of a strong state toward a weaker state or territory that it protects and partly controls.
a state or territory so protected.
the office or position, or the term of office, of a protector.
the government of a protector.
(initial capital letter) English History. the period (1653–59) during which Oliver and Richard Cromwell held the title of Lord Protector, sometimes extended to include the period of the restoration of the Rump Parliament (1659–60).
Origin of protectorate
First recorded in 1685-95; protector + -ate3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for protectorate


  1. a territory largely controlled by but not annexed to a stronger state
  2. the relation of a protecting state to its protected territory
the office or period of office of a protector
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 protectorate

1690s in reference to the government by the Cromwells; 1795 as "occupied territory of another nation," from protector + -ate (1). Meaning "state or territory (usually tribal) placed under the protection of a major power" is from 1860.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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protectorate in Culture
protectorate [(pruh-tek-tuhr-uht)]

A relationship between a strong sovereign nation and a weak nation or area not recognized as a nation. Once the strong nation has established a protectorate over a weak nation, it can control the latter's affairs.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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