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[pruh-tekt] /prəˈtɛkt/
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.
Origin of protect
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
Related forms
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unprotected
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The unprotected prophet was now completely exposed to the attacks of his enemies.

  • Did Phidias express no anxiety concerning your unprotected situation?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Surely a kind Providence watched over these unprotected ones that they might in after years fulfill their destiny.

    Blazing The Way Emily Inez Denny
  • As his body was unprotected, his sufferings must have been great; but his fortitude was superior to all.

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • And perhaps,' with a bashful glance, 'you wouldn't mind seeing me up the street a short way, as I'm alone and unprotected.'

    Madame Midas Fergus Hume
British Dictionary definitions for unprotected


not protected or safe from trouble, harm, etc: an unprotected position


verb (transitive)
to defend from trouble, harm, attack, etc
(economics) to assist (domestic industries) by the imposition of protective tariffs on imports
(commerce) to provide funds in advance to guarantee payment of (a note, draft, etc)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōtegere to cover before, from pro-1 + tegere to cover
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unprotected



mid-15c., from Latin protectus, past participle of protegere "to protect, cover in front" (see protection). International economics sense from 1789. Related: Protected; protecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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