[proh-tuh-kawl, -kol, -kohl]
  1. the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette.
  2. an original draft, minute, or record from which a document, especially a treaty, is prepared.
  3. a supplementary international agreement.
  4. an agreement between states.
  5. an annex to a treaty giving data relating to it.
  6. Medicine/Medical. the plan for carrying out a scientific study or a patient's treatment regimen.
  7. Computers. a set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between computers.
  8. Also called protocol statement, protocol sentence, protocol proposition. Philosophy. a statement reporting an observation or experience in the most fundamental terms without interpretation: sometimes taken as the basis of empirical verification, as of scientific laws.
verb (used without object)
  1. to draft or issue a protocol.

Origin of protocol

1535–45; earlier protocoll < Medieval Latin prōtocollum < Late Greek prōtókollon orig., a leaf or tag attached to a rolled papyrus manuscript and containing notes as to contents. See proto-, colloid
Related formspro·to·col·ar [proh-tuh-kol-er] /ˌproʊ təˈkɒl ər/, pro·to·col·a·ry, pro·to·col·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for protocolar


  1. the formal etiquette and code of behaviour, precedence, and procedure for state and diplomatic ceremonies
  2. a memorandum or record of an agreement, esp one reached in international negotiations, a meeting, etc
  3. (chiefly US)
    1. a record of data or observations on a particular experiment or proceeding
    2. an annexe appended to a treaty to deal with subsidiary matters or to render the treaty more lucid
    3. a formal international agreement or understanding on some matter
  4. an amendment to a treaty or convention
  5. philosophy a statement that is immediately verifiable by experienceIn full: protocol statement See logical positivism
  6. computing the set form in which data must be presented for handling by a particular computer configuration, esp in the transmission of information between different computer systems

Word Origin for protocol

C16: from Medieval Latin prōtocollum, from Late Greek prōtokollon sheet glued to the front of a manuscript, from proto- + kolla glue
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 protocolar



1540s, as prothogall "draft of a document," from Middle French prothocole (c.1200, Modern French protocole), from Medieval Latin protocollum "draft," literally "the first sheet of a volume" (on which contents and errata were written), from Greek protokollon "first sheet glued onto a manuscript," from protos "first" (see proto-) + kolla "glue."

Sense developed in Medieval Latin and French from "official account" to "official record of a transaction," to "diplomatic document," and finally, in French, to "formula of diplomatic etiquette." Meaning "diplomatic rules of etiquette" in English first recorded 1896, from French; general sense of "conventional proper conduct" is from 1952. "Protocols of the (Learned) Elders of Zion," Russian anti-Semitic forgery purporting to reveal Jewish plan for world domination, first published in English 1920 under title "The Jewish Peril."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

protocolar in Medicine


[prōtə-kôl′, -kōl′]
  1. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

protocolar in Science


[prōtə-kôl′, -kōl′]
  1. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment.
  2. A set of standardized procedures for transmitting or storing data, especially those used in regulating data transmission between computers or peripherals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.