[pruh-tek-shuh-niz-uh m]


Economics. the theory, practice, or system of fostering or developing domestic industries by protecting them from foreign competition through duties or quotas imposed on importations.
any program, policy, or system of laws that seeks to provide protection for property owners, wildlife, the environment, etc.

Origin of protectionism

First recorded in 1855–60; protection + -ism
Related formspro·tec·tion·ist, noun, adjectivepro·tec·tion·is·tic, adjectivean·ti·pro·tec·tion·ist, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for protectionist

Contemporary Examples of protectionist

  • President Obama saved 1,000 jobs by embracing a protectionist policy on tires.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Presidential Town Hall Debate Live Blog

    Justin Green

    October 16, 2012

  • The FN has become a protectionist, anticapitalist party of the dislocated working classes.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Euro Riot Watch

    David Frum

    April 30, 2012

  • Then there is always Congress, threatening a rash of protectionist bills directed solely at China.

    The Daily Beast logo
    We're Handling China All Wrong

    Jeffrey E. Garten

    February 17, 2010

Historical Examples of protectionist

  • Yet in the Protectionist dispensation, this has become an article of faith.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • It was Protectionist so long as it suited its purpose to be so.

    British Socialism

    J. Ellis Barker

  • As to himself he had never been and was not now "a protectionist."

    The Life of King Edward VII

    J. Castell Hopkins

  • On further thought, Emmeline is not a Protectionist; she is an Anarchist.


    Simeon Strunsky

  • Mr Editor,—I am a manufacturer of cloth, and a protectionist.

    Economic Sophisms

    Frederic Bastiat

Word Origin and History for protectionist

in the economics sense, 1841, from French protectionniste (in political economy sense, protection is attested from 1789). As an adjective by 1843.



1846, from protectionist + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper