[ pruh-tek-shuhn ]
See synonyms for protection on
  1. the act of protecting or the state of being protected; preservation from injury or harm.

  2. a thing, person, or group that protects: This vaccine is a protection against disease.

  1. Insurance. coverage (def. 1).

  2. Informal.

    • money paid to racketeers for a guarantee against threatened violence.

    • bribe money paid to the police, politicians, or other authorities for overlooking criminal activity.

  3. Economics. protectionism.

  4. a document that assures safety from harm, delay, or the like, for the person, persons, or property specified in it.

  5. 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

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English proteccio(u)n, from Late Latin prōtēctiōn-, stem of prōtēctiō “shelter,” literally, “a covering in front”; equivalent to protect + -ion

synonym study For protection

2. See cover.

Other words for protection

Other words from protection

  • pro·tec·tion·al, adjective
  • non·pro·tec·tion, noun
  • o·ver·pro·tec·tion, noun

Words Nearby protection Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use protection in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for protection


/ (prəˈtɛkʃən) /

  1. the act of protecting or the condition of being protected

  2. something that protects

    • the imposition of duties or quotas on imports, designed for the protection of domestic industries against overseas competition, expansion of domestic employment, etc

    • Also called: protectionism the system, policy, or theory of such restrictions: Compare free trade

  1. a document that grants protection or immunity from arrest or harassment to a person, esp a traveller

  2. mountaineering security on a climb provided by running belays, etc

  3. informal

    • Also called: protection money money demanded by gangsters for freedom from molestation

    • freedom from molestation purchased in this way

Derived forms of protection

  • 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