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  1. a person or thing that protects; defender; guardian.
  2. English History.
    1. a person in charge of the kingdom during the sovereign's minority, incapacity, or absence.
    2. (initial capital letter)Also called Lord Protector.the title of the head of the government during the period of the Protectorate, held by Oliver Cromwell (1653–58) and by Richard Cromwell, his son (1658–59).
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Origin of protector

1325–75; < Late Latin (see protect, -tor); replacing Middle English protectour < Middle French
Related formspro·tec·tor·al, adjectivepro·tec·tor·less, adjectivepro·tec·tor·ship, nounsub·pro·tec·tor, nounsub·pro·tec·tor·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for protector


  1. a person or thing that protects
  2. history a person who exercised royal authority during the minority, absence, or incapacity of the monarch
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Derived Formsprotectoral, adjectiveprotectress, fem n


  1. short for Lord Protector, the title borne by Oliver Cromwell (1653–58) and by Richard Cromwell (1658–59) as heads of state during the period known as the Protectorate
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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 protector


late 14c., from Old French protector (14c., Modern French protecteur) and directly from Late Latin protector, agent noun from protegere (see protection). Related: Protectoral.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper