Definition of protect in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈtekt/


[with object]
1Keep safe from harm or injury: he tried to protect Kelly from the attack [no object]: certain vitamins may protect against heart disease
More example sentences
  • She must accept the inevitable and protect against the greater harm.
  • A number of acute-phase reactants protect against tissue injury in response to heat stress.
  • I promised to protect you, all those years ago at the orphanage, and that's what I am doing right now.
keep safe, keep from harm, save, safeguard, preserve, defend, shield, cushion, insulate, hedge, shelter, screen, secure, fortify, guard, watch over, look after, take care of, keep;
1.1 (often as adjective protected) Aim to preserve (a threatened plant or animal species) by legislating against collecting or hunting.
Example sentences
  • As for the wild yak, all that shooting over the years has decimated its numbers so that the wild animals are now a protected species with their own nature preserve.
  • Lack of socialization of the law by the conservation office is frequently blamed for the flourishing trade in souvenirs made from protected animal parts in the province.
  • Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, anyone killing a protected bird or animal faces fines of up £5,000 and possible imprisonment.
1.2 (often as adjective protected) Restrict by law access to or development of (land) so as to preserve its natural state: logging is continuing in protected areas in violation of an international agreement
More example sentences
  • Many of the actions required are already within the scope of existing conventions concerned with wildlife conservation, insofar as they list marine species or marine protected areas on their annexes.
  • Sadly all these developments are taking place in areas that were previously protected from any tourist development projects.
  • The decision opens the previously protected areas to development.
secured, sheltered, in safe hands, safe, guarded, out of danger, safeguarded, preserved
1.3(Of an insurance policy) promise to pay (someone) an agreed amount in the event of loss, injury, fire, theft, or other misfortune: in the event of your death, your family will be protected against any financial problems that may arise
More example sentences
  • You can't eliminate the risks of travel, but travel insurance can protect you against financial loss.
  • Watercraft liability covers you just like car liability insurance protects you in the event of an accident where you are found to be at fault.
  • Collision Damage Waver insurance is important but only protects you from financial loss in respect to the vehicle.
1.4 Economics Shield (a domestic industry) from competition by imposing import duties on foreign goods.
Example sentences
  • He said in this case it was the duty of the Government to set up safeguard measures to protect the domestic industry.
  • The Republicans claimed that such interventions were necessary not only for financing government but also for protecting domestic industry and jobs.
  • An attempt to protect domestic industry can do nothing to change this reality.
1.5 Computing Restrict access to or use of (data or a memory location): security products are designed to protect information from unauthorized access
More example sentences
  • It also protects information stored on memory cards.
  • When you submit sensitive information via the Web site, your information is protected both online and off-line.
  • Additionally, the company agreed not to misrepresent the extent to which it protects customer information from unauthorized access.



Example sentences
  • In addition to assisting clients in protecting their intellectual property, it provides clients with audits, which identify protectable intellectual property within their business.
  • Even TV listings, once treated as protectable by the Irish courts, may no longer qualify for legal protection.
  • To do so, she would have to convince the judge of three things: first, that she had a protectable trademark; second, that consumers might confuse the brands; and third, that the company would suffer irreparable harm as a result.


Late Middle English: from Latin protect- 'covered in front', from the verb protegere, from pro- 'in front' + tegere 'to cover'.

Words that rhyme with protect

affect, bisect, bull-necked, collect, confect, connect, correct, defect, deflect, deject, detect, direct, effect, eject, elect, erect, expect, infect, inflect, inject, inspect, interconnect, interject, intersect, misdirect, neglect, object, perfect, project, prospect, reflect, reject, respect, resurrect, sect, select, subject, suspect, transect, unchecked, Utrecht

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·tect

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