(third-person singular simple present protects, present participle protecting, simple past and past participle protected)
- To keep safe; to defend; to guard; to prevent harm coming to.
Attested in English since 1530, from Latin protectus (“covered, protected"), past participle of protegere (“to cover the front, protect") from pro- + tegere (“to cover"). More at thatch. Displaced native Middle English helien, forhelian (“to conceal, protect") (from Old English helian, forhelian (“to conceal, cover, hide"), Middle English bischilden, beschielden (“to protect") (from Middle English schild, shelde (“shield")), Middle English berwen, bergen (“to protect, preserve") (from Old English beorgan (“to protect, preserve")), Middle English mundien, mounden (“to protect") (from Old English mundian (“to protect, watch over, act as guardian over")).