Origin of protection

1275–1325; Middle English proteccio(u)n < Late Latin prōtēctiōn- (stem of prōtēctiō) a covering in front. See protect, -ion
Related formspro·tec·tion·al, adjectivenon·pro·tec·tion, nouno·ver·pro·tec·tion, noun

Synonyms for protection

Synonym study

2. See cover. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for protection

Contemporary Examples of protection

Historical Examples of protection

  • Those who were initiated were supposed to be peculiarly under the protection of the gods.


    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.

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: protectionismthe system, policy, or theory of such restrictionsCompare 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 moneymoney demanded by gangsters for freedom from molestation
  2. freedom from molestation purchased in this way
Derived Formsprotectionism, nounprotectionist, 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

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