[proh-tuh-kawl, -kol, -kohl]
the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette.
an original draft, minute, or record from which a document, especially a treaty, is prepared.
a supplementary international agreement.
an agreement between states.
an annex to a treaty giving data relating to it.
Medicine/Medical. the plan for carrying out a scientific study or a patient's treatment regimen.
Computers. a set of rules governing the format of messages that are exchanged between computers.
Also called protocol statement, protocol sentence, protocol proposition. Philosophy. a statement reporting an observation or experience in the most fundamental terms without interpretation: sometimes taken as the basis of empirical verification, as of scientific laws.
verb (used without object)
to draft or issue a protocol.

1535–45; earlier protocoll < Medieval Latin prōtocollum < Late Greek prōtókollon orig., a leaf or tag attached to a rolled papyrus manuscript and containing notes as to contents. See proto-, colloid

protocolar [proh-tuh-kol-er] , protocolary, protocolic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
protocol (ˈprəʊtəˌkɒl)
1.  the formal etiquette and code of behaviour, precedence, and procedure for state and diplomatic ceremonies
2.  a memorandum or record of an agreement, esp one reached in international negotiations, a meeting, etc
3.  chiefly US
 a.  a record of data or observations on a particular experiment or proceeding
 b.  an annexe appended to a treaty to deal with subsidiary matters or to render the treaty more lucid
 c.  a formal international agreement or understanding on some matter
4.  an amendment to a treaty or convention
5.  philosophy See logical positivism In full: protocol statement a statement that is immediately verifiable by experience
6.  computing the set form in which data must be presented for handling by a particular computer configuration, esp in the transmission of information between different computer systems
[C16: from Medieval Latin prōtocollum, from Late Greek prōtokollon sheet glued to the front of a manuscript, from proto- + kolla glue]

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

1540s, as prothogall "draft of a document," from M.Fr. prothocole (c.1200), from M.L. protocollum "draft," lit. "the first sheet of a volume" (on which contents and errata were written), from Gk. protokollon "first sheet glued onto a manuscript," from protos "first" + kolla "glue." Sense developed in
M.L. and M.Fr. from "official account" to "official record of a transaction," "diplomatic document," and finally, in Fr., to "formula of diplomatic etiquette." Meaning "diplomatic rules of etiquette" first recorded 1896, from French; general sense of "conventional proper conduct" is from 1952. "Protocols of the (Learned) Elders of Zion," Rus. anti-Semitic forgery purporting to reveal Jewish plan for world domination, first published in English 1920 under title "The Jewish Peril."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

protocol pro·to·col (prō'tə-kôl', -kōl')
The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
protocol   (prō'tə-kôl', -kōl')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment.

  2. A set of standardized procedures for transmitting or storing data, especially those used in regulating data transmission between computers or peripherals.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

protocol definition

A set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, especially across a network. Low level protocols define the electrical and physical standards to be observed, bit- and byte-ordering and the transmission and error detection and correction of the bit stream. High level protocols deal with the data formatting, including the syntax of messages, the terminal to computer dialogue, character sets, sequencing of messages etc.
Many protocols are defined by RFCs or by OSI.
See also handshaking.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
This, of course, was the way protocol demanded it be done at a scientific
When the late arrival entered, the protocol was to take one's seat quietly and
  without comment.
While a breach of protocol, it didn't exactly cause an uproar.
His work led him to develop a petri-dish protocol for testing whether a
  substance can cause such mutations.
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