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.

1855–60; protection + -ism

protectionist, noun, adjective
protectionistic, adjective
antiprotectionist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To protectionism
World English Dictionary
protection (prəˈtɛkʃən)
1.  the act of protecting or the condition of being protected
2.  something that protects
3.  a.  the imposition of duties or quotas on imports, designed for the protection of domestic industries against overseas competition, expansion of domestic employment, etc
 b.  Compare free trade Also called: protectionism the system, policy, or theory of such restrictions
4.  a document that grants protection or immunity from arrest or harassment to a person, esp a traveller
5.  mountaineering security on a climb provided by running belays, etc
6.  informal
 a.  Also called: protection money money demanded by gangsters for freedom from molestation
 b.  freedom from molestation purchased in this way
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
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.
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