[ noun proh-test; verb pruh-test, proh-test ]
See synonyms for: protestprotestedprotesting on

  1. an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid: a protest against increased taxation.

  2. Commerce.

    • a formal notarial certificate attesting the fact that a check, note, or bill of exchange has been presented for acceptance or payment and that it has been refused.

    • the action taken to fix the liability for a dishonored bill of exchange or note.

  1. Law.

    • (upon one's payment of a tax or other state or city exaction) a formal statement disputing the legality of the demand.

    • a written and attested declaration made by the master of a ship stating the circumstances under which some damage has happened to the ship or cargo, or other circumstances involving the liability of the officers, crew, etc.

  2. Sports. a formal objection or complaint made to an official.

verb (used without object)
  1. to give manifest expression to objection or disapproval; remonstrate.

  2. to make solemn or earnest declaration.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make a protest or remonstrance against; object to.

  2. to say in protest or remonstrance.

  1. to declare solemnly or earnestly; affirm; assert.

  2. to make a formal declaration of the nonacceptance or nonpayment of (a bill of exchange or note).

  3. Obsolete. to call to witness.

Origin of protest

First recorded in 1350–1400; (for the verb) late Middle English protesten, from Middle French protester, from Latin prōtestārī “to declare publicly,” from prō- pro-1 + testārī “to testify” (derivative of testis “a witness”); noun derivative of the verb

synonym study For protest

6. See declare.

Other words for protest

Opposites for protest

Other words from protest

  • pro·test·a·ble, adjective
  • pro·test·er, pro·tes·tor, noun
  • pro·test·ing·ly, adverb
  • pro·test·ive, adjective
  • half-pro·test·ed, adjective
  • half-pro·test·ing, adjective
  • non·pro·test·ing, adjective
  • re·pro·test, noun
  • re·pro·test, verb
  • un·pro·test·ed, adjective
  • un·pro·test·ing, adjective
  • un·pro·test·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use protest in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for protest


    • public, often organized, dissent or manifestation of such dissent

    • (as modifier): a protest march

  1. a declaration or objection that is formal or solemn

  1. an expression of disagreement or complaint: without a squeak of protest

    • 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

    • the action of drawing up such a statement

    • a formal declaration by a taxpayer disputing the legality or accuracy of his assessment

  2. a statement made by the master of a vessel attesting to the circumstances in which his vessel was damaged or imperilled

  3. the act of protesting

  4. under protest having voiced objections; unwillingly

  1. (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)

  2. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to assert or affirm in a formal or solemn manner

  1. (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

  2. (tr) mainly US to object forcefully to: leaflets protesting Dr King's murder

  3. (tr) to declare formally that (a bill of exchange or promissory note) has been dishonoured

Origin of protest

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

Derived forms of protest

  • protestant, adjective, noun
  • protester or protestor, noun
  • protestingly, adverb

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