- verb to stop something being damaged or harmed
- verb to keep from harm, injury or damage
- verb to keep a person or thing safe from harm
- verb to prevent the injury or capture of someone
- verb to prevent the damage or capture of something
- verb to keep something safe and free from damage
Origin & History of “protect”
The -tect element of protect goes back to the past participle of Latin tegere ‘cover’ (source of English integument (17th c.) and toga (16th c.) and related to thatch). Combination with the prefix prō- ‘in front’ produced prōtegere ‘cover in front, protect’. Another English product of the past participle tectus is detect (15th c.).