• synonyms


See more synonyms for protective on Thesaurus.com
  1. having the quality or function of protecting: a protective covering.
  2. tending to protect.
  3. Economics. of, relating to, or designed to favor protectionism: protective tariffs.
  4. defensive(def 4).
Show More

Origin of protective

First recorded in 1655–65; protect + -ive
Related formspro·tec·tive·ly, adverbpro·tec·tive·ness, nounnon·pro·tec·tive, adjectivenon·pro·tec·tive·ly, adverbsem·i·pro·tec·tive, adjectivesem·i·pro·tec·tive·ly, adverbun·pro·tec·tive, adjectiveun·pro·tec·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for unprotective


  1. giving or capable of giving protection
  2. economics of, relating to, or intended for protection of domestic industries
Show More
  1. something that protects
  2. a condom
Show More
Derived Formsprotectively, adverbprotectiveness, noun
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 unprotective



1660s, from protect + -ive. As a noun from 1875. Related: Protectively; protectiveness. Protective custody is from 1933, translating German Schutzhaft, used cynically by the Nazis.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper