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See more synonyms for protect on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
  2. Economics. to guard (the industry or an industry of a nation) from foreign competition by imposing import duties.
  3. to provide funds for the payment of (a draft, note, etc.).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to provide, or be capable of providing, protection: a floor wax that protects as well as shines.
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Origin of protect

1520–30; < Latin prōtēctus, past participle of prōtegere to cover in front, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + teg-, stem of tegere to cover (akin to toga, thatch) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formspro·tect·i·ble, pro·tect·a·ble, adjectivepro·tect·i·bil·i·ty, pro·tect·a·bil·i·ty, nouno·ver·pro·tect, verb (used with object)qua·si-pro·tect·ed, adjectivesem·i·pro·tect·ed, adjectiveun·pro·tect·a·ble, adjectiveun·pro·tect·ed, adjectivewell-pro·tect·ed, adjective

Synonyms for protect

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Synonym study

1. See defend.

Antonyms for protect

1. attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for protect

preserve, safeguard, shield, shelter, defend, cover, insulate, conserve, assure, secure, cushion, save, support, keep, fend, champion, bulwark, harbor, screen, watch

Examples from the Web for protect

Contemporary Examples of protect

Historical Examples of protect

  • On his death-bed he charged his nephew to protect and cherish me as a sister.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • They were putting on outer clothes from the store-room to protect them from the dirt and damp.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Could he be asked to shield and protect her, or what would become of her?


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • We must protect her from the consequences of her own foolishness.

  • I prayed for forgiveness, and asked God to direct and protect me.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

British Dictionary definitions for protect


verb (tr)
  1. to defend from trouble, harm, attack, etc
  2. economics to assist (domestic industries) by the imposition of protective tariffs on imports
  3. commerce to provide funds in advance to guarantee payment of (a note, draft, etc)
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Word Origin for protect

C16: from Latin prōtegere to cover before, from pro- 1 + tegere to cover
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

Word Origin and History for protect


mid-15c., from Latin protectus, past participle of protegere "to protect, cover in front" (see protection). International economics sense from 1789. Related: Protected; protecting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper