verb (used with object)
to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
Economics. to guard (the industry or an industry of a nation) from foreign competition by imposing import duties.
to provide funds for the payment of (a draft, note, etc.).
verb (used without object)
to provide, or be capable of providing, protection: a floor wax that protects as well as shines.

1520–30; < Latin prōtēctus, past participle of prōtegere to cover in front, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + teg-, stem of tegere to cover (akin to toga, thatch) + -tus past participle suffix

protectible, protectable, adjective
protectibility, protectability, noun
overprotect, verb (used with object)
quasi-protected, adjective
semiprotected, adjective
unprotectable, adjective
unprotected, adjective
well-protected, adjective

1. screen, shelter. See defend.

1. attack. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
protect (prəˈtɛkt)
1.  to defend from trouble, harm, attack, etc
2.  economics to assist (domestic industries) by the imposition of protective tariffs on imports
3.  commerce to provide funds in advance to guarantee payment of (a note, draft, etc)
[C16: from Latin prōtegere to cover before, from pro-1 + tegere to cover]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1520s, from L. protectus, pp. of protegere (see protection). Protectorate "state or territory (usually tribal) placed under the protection of a major power" is from 1860.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The shale gas industry maintains that it takes care to protect drinking water and land.
Last month, the department sent a letter to colleges urging them to take steps
  to protect the student-aid programs.
Hyperactive immune systems may protect against cancer.
Provide two or three alternatives that could help to protect terrestrial or
  marine ecosystems.
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