Definition of protective in English:


Line breaks: pro¦tect|ive
Pronunciation: /prəˈtɛktɪv


  • 1Intended 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, covering; waterproof, fireproof, heatproof, insulating; shatterproof, toughened, armoured
  • 1.1Having or showing a strong wish to protect someone or something: I felt protective towards her as adults we are naturally protective of children
    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, mindful, careful, wary, watchful, vigilant, warm, paternal/maternal, fatherly/motherly, gallant, chivalrous; overprotective, possessive, jealous, clinging
  • 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.


British Back to top  
  • 1A thing that protects someone or something: an effectual protective against the midge
    More example sentences
    • These fake programs are promoted vigorously on the Internet, and many computer users are lured into installing what they think is a protective.
  • 1.1 dated A condom.



More 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.


More 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.

More definitions of protective

Definition of protective in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody