[noun proh-test; verb pruh-test, proh-test]


verb (used without object)

to give manifest expression to objection or disapproval; remonstrate.
to make solemn or earnest declaration.

verb (used with object)

Origin of protest

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English < Middle French (French protêt), derivative of protester to protest < Latin prōtestārī to declare publicly, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + testārī to testify, derivative of testis a witness; (v.) late Middle English protesten < Middle French protester
Related formspro·test·a·ble, adjectivepro·test·er, pro·tes·tor, nounpro·test·ing·ly, adverbpro·test·ive, adjectivehalf-pro·test·ed, adjectivehalf-pro·test·ing, adjectivenon·pro·test·ing, adjectivere·pro·test, nounre·pro·test, verbun·pro·test·ed, adjectiveun·pro·test·ing, adjectiveun·pro·test·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for protest

Synonym study

6. See declare.

Antonyms for protest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for protest

Contemporary Examples of protest

Historical Examples of protest

  • And before the trapper could make a protest he had drawn back into the horse shed.

  • His heavy voice rang out rebukingly, overtoned with protest.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • When, at last, words came, they were a frantic prayer of protest.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • His love was purely selfish, for he brushed aside her protest as if she had not spoken.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • I can feel his eyes on me, and I cannot raise my voice in protest, for do not I countenance it?


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for protest


noun (ˈprəʊtɛst)

  1. public, often organized, dissent or manifestation of such dissent
  2. (as modifier)a protest march
a declaration or objection that is formal or solemn
an expression of disagreement or complaintwithout a squeak of protest
  1. a formal notarial statement drawn up on behalf of a creditor and declaring that the debtor has dishonoured a bill of exchange or promissory note
  2. the action of drawing up such a statement
  3. a formal declaration by a taxpayer disputing the legality or accuracy of his assessment
a statement made by the master of a vessel attesting to the circumstances in which his vessel was damaged or imperilled
the act of protesting
under protest having voiced objections; unwillingly

verb (prəˈtɛst)

(when intr, foll by against, at, about, etc; when tr, may take a clause as object) to make a strong objection (to something, esp a supposed injustice or offence)
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to assert or affirm in a formal or solemn manner
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to put up arguments against; disagree; complain; object``I'm okay,'' she protested; he protested that it was not his turn to wash up
(tr) mainly US to object forcefully toleaflets protesting Dr King's murder
(tr) to declare formally that (a bill of exchange or promissory note) has been dishonoured
Derived Formsprotestant, adjective, nounprotester or protestor, nounprotestingly, adverb

Word Origin for protest

C14: from Latin prōtestārī to make a formal declaration, from prō- before + testārī to assert
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 protest

c.1400, "avowal, pledge, solemn declaration," from Old French protest (Modern French prôtet), from preotester, and directly from Latin protestari "declare publicly, testify, protest," from pro- "forth, before" (see pro-) + testari "testify," from testis "witness" (see testament).

Meaning "statement of disapproval" first recorded 1751; adjectival sense of "expressing of dissent from, or rejection of, prevailing mores" is from 1953, in reference to U.S. civil rights movement. First record of protest march is from 1959.


mid-15c., "to declare or state formally or solemnly," from Old French protester, from Latin protestari "declare publicly, testify, protest" (see protest (n.)). Original sense preserved in to protest one's innocence. Related: Protested; protesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper