a person or thing that protects; defender; guardian.
2. English History. a.
a person in charge of the kingdom during the sovereign's minority, incapacity, or absence.
( initial capital letter ) . Also called Lord Protector. the title of the head of the government during the period of the Protectorate, held by Oliver Cromwell (1653–58) and by Richard Cromwell, his son (1658–59).
Origin: 1325–75; Related forms
< Late Latin
); replacing Middle English protectour
< Middle French