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[pruh-tek-shuh-niz-uh m] /prəˈtɛk ʃəˌnɪz əm/
Economics. the theory, practice, or system of fostering or developing domestic industries by protecting them from foreign competition through duties or quotas imposed on importations.
any program, policy, or system of laws that seeks to provide protection for property owners, wildlife, the environment, etc.
Origin of protectionism
1855-60; protection + -ism
Related forms
protectionist, noun, adjective
protectionistic, adjective
antiprotectionist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for protectionism
  • Having been converted from protectionism to free trade, he issued in rapid succession a number of important books.
  • But draconian copyright laws are protectionism in another form.
  • Topics include the challenges from new regulatory regimes and protectionism.
  • protectionism is about preserving the profits of existing companies.
  • But, as of yet, there is no sign of a general rush to trade protectionism or to beggar-thy-neighbor currency policies.
  • Most economists agree that protectionism is a pretty bad idea.
  • Most people think the biggest threat to globalization is mounting economic nationalism and trade protectionism.
  • But if the global economy remains unregulated, the appeal of this new protectionism will doubtless grow.
  • We tend to lump trade policies into either of two categories: free trade or protectionism.
  • But that is cheaper than the broad dead-weight losses of protectionism.
Word Origin and History for protectionism

1846, from protectionist + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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