[ pruh-tekt ]
See synonyms for: protectprotectedprotecting on

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.

  1. to provide funds for the payment of (a draft, note, etc.).

verb (used without object)
  1. to provide, or be capable of providing, protection: a floor wax that protects as well as shines.

Origin of protect

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin prōtēctus “covered in front,” past participle of prōtegere “to cover in front,” equivalent to prō- pro-1 + tegere “to cover” (akin to toga, thatch)

synonym study For protect

1. See defend.

Other words for protect

Opposites for protect

Other words from protect

  • pro·tect·i·ble, pro·tect·a·ble, adjective
  • pro·tect·i·bil·i·ty, pro·tect·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • o·ver·pro·tect, verb (used with object)
  • qua·si-pro·tect·ed, adjective
  • sem·i·pro·tect·ed, adjective
  • un·pro·tect·a·ble, adjective
  • un·pro·tect·ed, adjective
  • well-pro·tect·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use protect in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for protect


/ (prəˈtɛkt) /

  1. to defend from trouble, harm, attack, etc

  2. economics to assist (domestic industries) by the imposition of protective tariffs on imports

  1. commerce to provide funds in advance to guarantee payment of (a note, draft, etc)

Origin of 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