verb pro·tect \prə-ˈtekt\

: to keep (someone or something) from being harmed, lost, etc.

: to save (someone) from financial loss caused by fire, injury, damage, etc.

sports : to try to stop opponents from scoring at (your goal)

Full Definition of PROTECT

transitive verb
a :  to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction :  guard
b :  defend 1c <protect the goal>
:  to maintain the status or integrity of especially through financial or legal guarantees: as
a :  to save from contingent financial loss
b :  to foster or shield from infringement or restriction <salesmen with protected territories> <protect one's rights>; specifically :  to restrict competition for (as domestic industries) by means of tariffs or trade controls
:  defend 5 <protect a lead>
intransitive verb
:  to provide a guard or shield <protects against tooth decay>
pro·tect·able \-ˈtek-tə-bəl\ adjective
pro·tec·tive \-ˈtek-tiv\ adjective
pro·tec·tive·ly adverb
pro·tec·tive·ness noun

Origin of PROTECT

Middle English, from Latin protectus, past participle of protegere, from pro- in front + tegere to cover — more at pro-, thatch
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of PROTECT

defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack <defend the country>. protect implies the use of something (as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure <a hard hat to protect your head>. shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack <shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand>. guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger <White House entrances are well guarded>. safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger <our civil liberties must be safeguarded>.
PROTECT Defined for Kids


verb pro·tect \prə-ˈtekt\

Definition of PROTECT for Kids

:  keep from being harmed especially by covering or shielding :  guard


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