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See more synonyms for protector on Thesaurus.com
  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

Related Words for protectorship

patronage, backing, aegis, sponsor, aid, auspices, patron, angel, support, benefactor, advocacy, tutelage, guardianship, egis, protectorship

Examples from the Web for protectorship

Historical Examples of protectorship

  • Waller wrote a fine panegyric on Cromwell, when he assumed the Protectorship.

    Books and Authors


  • San Martin was now the hero of Chile, and was begged to accept the protectorship of the new Republic.

    South America

    W. H. Koebel

  • His extreme republican views, however, led him into the bitterest antagonism when C. assumed the Protectorship.

  • On their journey, the Roman envoys sent to assume the office of protectorship remonstrated with Philip.

  • She was under his protectorship, otherwise he would not have alluded to the observance of class distinctions.

British Dictionary definitions for protectorship


  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 protectorship



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