Definition of protective in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /prəˈtektiv/


1Capable of or intended to protect someone or something: protective gloves are worn to minimize injury
More example sentences
  • Other male contraceptive formulations in production have been shown to decrease good HDL cholesterol levels, which are protective against heart disease.
  • And that's not to mention research showing that beer is protective against gallstone formation, osteoporosis and even diabetes.
  • Although carbohydrates boosted blood sugar, protein produced stable glucose levels that may be more protective against afternoon tiredness.
preservative, protecting, safeguarding, shielding, defensive, safety, precautionary, preventive, preventative
1.1Having or showing a strong wish to keep someone or something safe from harm: I felt protective toward her Marco wrapped a protective arm around her shoulder
More example sentences
  • He is somewhat of a loner, rather introverted, and protective of his ‘space.’
  • I understand why he is so protective of his only girl, but sometimes it eats me up inside that I have to lie to him constantly.
  • These systems are often rigidly organized and protective of their members.
solicitous, caring, warm, paternal/maternal, fatherly/motherly, gallant, chivalrous;
overprotective, possessive, jealous
1.2 Economics Relating to the protection of domestic industries from foreign competition: protective tariffs
More example sentences
  • In 1821 the Congressional Committee of Manufacturers issued a report calling for protective tariffs to expand industry.
  • They advocated protective tariffs for industry, a national bank, and plenty of public works and patronage.
  • His intention was to assist in the creation of a viable and efficient indigenous cement industry, and it was part of the strategy to build up an industrial base here behind protective tariffs.



Pronunciation: /prəˈtektivlē/
Example sentences
  • Then she's held down protectively by her friend for the duration.
  • Her thin arms are crossed protectively across her flat chest, and there's a small scar beneath her mouth.
  • Then she drew the curtains and arranged the sectional sofa protectively around us like stagecoaches.


Pronunciation: /prəˈtektivnəs/
Example sentences
  • Possessiveness, jealousy, and protectiveness are high.
  • Now I think of all the good things about her and once again feel that protectiveness and care for her.
  • You'll note a feral protectiveness - a wariness, a mistrust.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·tec·tive

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.