Meaning of PROTECT in English



1. to prevent someone or something from being harmed or damaged

2. to protect someone by providing a place where they are safe from danger

3. someone whose job is to protect a person or place

4. something that protects someone or something

5. wanting to protect people




1. to prevent someone or something from being harmed or damaged

▷ protect /prəˈtekt/ [transitive verb]

to keep someone or something safe from harm, injury, damage or illness :

▪ The painting is protected by thick glass.

▪ laws to protect the environment

▪ A series of meetings were held to discuss security issues and teach women employees how to protect themselves.

protect somebody/something from something

▪ Use high-factor sun lotion to protect your child’s skin from the sun.

protect somebody/something against something

▪ Garlic was once thought to protect people against evil spirits.

▷ guard /gɑːʳd/ [transitive verb]

to stay close to a person, a valuable object etc and watch them carefully, in order to make sure that they do not escape, get stolen, or get attacked :

▪ An army lieutenant and 14 soldiers were guarding the air strip.

guard somebody/something against somebody/something

▪ Soldiers have been called in to guard the embassy against further attacks.

▷ safeguard /ˈseɪfgɑːʳd/ [transitive verb]

to protect something important, for example people’s rights, health, or safety - use this especially about organizations and laws that provide protection :

▪ Unless we fight pollution now, we cannot safeguard our children’s future.

▪ The new legislation will safeguard the rights of low-paid workers.

safeguard something against something

▪ Effective programs are available to safeguard your data against computer viruses.

▷ shield /ʃiːld/ [transitive verb]

to protect someone from something harmful or unpleasant, especially by putting yourself or something else between them and the cause of the harm :

▪ The elderly woman shielded her wounded husband.

shield somebody/something from something

▪ The treated glass shields your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

▪ Fuel taxes were reduced, shielding industry from the effects of the rise in oil prices.

2. to protect someone by providing a place where they are safe from danger

▷ shelter /ˈʃeltəʳ/ [transitive verb]

to provide a place where someone is protected, for example from danger or from the weather :

▪ Police are appealing to anyone who may be sheltering the wanted man to come forward.

shelter somebody from something

▪ They risked their own lives sheltering Jews from the Nazis.

▪ An umbrella sheltered them from the sun.

sheltered [adjective only before noun]

▪ We found a sheltered spot under the trees and waited for the rain to stop.

▷ give somebody shelter/refuge /ˌgɪv somebody ˈʃeltəʳ, ˈrefjuːdʒ/ [verb phrase]

to protect someone who is in danger or being hunted by someone who wants to harm them, by giving them a safe place to stay :

▪ The British government has been accused of giving shelter to known war criminals.

▪ During the war, she gave refuge and arms to local resistance groups.

▷ asylum /əˈsaɪləm/ [uncountable noun]

protection given to someone by a government because they have escaped from fighting or political trouble in their own country :

▪ The government described them as economic refugees who have no legal claim to asylum.

seek asylum

ask for asylum

▪ Gypsies from Eastern Europe have sought asylum in Britain.

grant somebody asylum

give it to them officially

▪ Cubans who reach the U.S. are usually granted asylum.

political asylum

▪ They have sought political asylum in the United States.

3. someone whose job is to protect a person or place

▷ guard /gɑːʳd/ [countable noun]

someone whose job is to watch a place, person, or valuable object, in order to protect them or stop them escaping :

▪ Guards at the embassy refused to let journalists enter.

security guard

someone whose job is to guard a building

▪ Two men overpowered the security guard and stole $20,000.

armed guard

one with a gun

▪ The captain put armed guards all around the camp.

▷ bodyguard /ˈbɒdigɑːʳdǁˈbɑː-/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a person or group of people whose job is to protect someone important :

▪ The President arrived, surrounded by bodyguards.

▪ a member of the Emperor’s bodyguard

▷ defender/guardian /dɪˈfendəʳ, ˈgɑːʳdiən/ [countable noun]

a person or organization that protects, or appears to protect, someone or something that people think is important or morally right :

▪ The group, known as the Defenders of Wildlife, have sued to protect the Louisiana black bear.

▪ The film was banned as a result of protests by the Viewers Association and other so-called guardians of public morality.

▷ minder /ˈmaɪndəʳ/ [countable noun] British informal

someone employed by a rich or famous person to protect him or her :

▪ Kylie will often shop in Kensington without her minders, dressed in dark glasses for anonymity.

4. something that protects someone or something

▷ protection /prəˈtekʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

something that protects you against harm or damage :

protection against

▪ Their light summer clothes were no protection against the bitter cold.

give/provide protection

protect someone

▪ Vitamin C provides some protection against minor illnesses.

protection from

▪ At the time, the law gave women very little protection from violent husbands.

▷ protective /prəˈtektɪv/ [adjective only before noun]

protective clothes, covers, substances etc protect someone or something from being hurt or damaged :

▪ Wear protective glasses when working with the saw.

▪ Motorcyclists must wear protective helmets.

▪ Remove the disk from its protective packaging.

protective gear/clothing

▪ Burke was not wearing protective gear when the accident happened.

▷ shelter /ˈʃeltəʳ/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a place where you will be protected from danger or from bad weather :

▪ It began to rain and we all ran for shelter.

shelter of

▪ William hurried towards the shelter of the old cowshed.

take shelter

find a safe place

▪ People took shelter from the flooding in churches and schools on high ground.

bomb shelter

a place, usually underground, that is safe from bombs

▪ Underground stations in London were used as bomb shelters during the Second World War.

▷ shield /ʃiːld/ [countable noun]

an object or material that protects someone or something from harm or damage :

▪ Suncream acts as a kind of shield against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

▪ The spacecraft is covered in a material that acts as a heat shield.

▪ Before operating this machine, make sure the safety shield is in place.

▷ guard /gɑːʳd/ [countable noun]

something that is, for example, fixed to a machine or worn on a part of your body, in order to provide protection against damage or injury :

▪ You can buy guards for electric sockets that make it impossible for little children to stick their fingers into the holes.

▪ Football players are strongly advised to wear shin guards.

▷ protector /prəˈtektəʳ/ [countable noun]

a piece of clothing or equipment that you wear or hold to protect a part of your body :

▪ Hockey goalies wear a chest protector that is similar to the one a catcher in baseball wears.

▪ A pocket protector will prevent ink staining your shirt.

▷ safeguard /ˈseɪfgɑːʳd/ [countable noun]

something, for example a law or rule, that provides protection against danger, problems, or failure :

▪ There’s a safeguard built into the tenancy agreement that says the landlord must give you three months’ notice to quit.

▪ Anti-virus software is a simple safeguard that many computer users have not bothered to install.

safeguard against

▪ As a safeguard against misuse, memorize your PIN number immediately and destroy this advice slip.

5. wanting to protect people

▷ protective /prəˈtektɪv/ [adjective]

wanting to protect someone from harm or danger, often in a way that stops them behaving freely :

▪ Society’s attitude towards children who live in the streets is not always protective.

protective of

▪ My dad is very protective of me and has never liked any of my boyfriends.

protective towards

▪ A dog may feel protective towards family members, and attack people who go near them.

▷ overprotective /ˌəʊvəʳprəˈtektɪv/ [adjective]

too anxious about wanting to protect someone from harm, danger etc in a way that seriously restricts that person’s freedom, or stops them developing the skills they need for dealing with normal life :

▪ My wife says I’m being overprotective, and that our daughter has grown into a responsible young woman.

overprotective mother/father/parent

▪ a spoilt rich kid with an overprotective mother

▷ wrap somebody in cotton wool /ˌræp somebody ɪn ˌkɒtn ˈwʊlǁ-ˌkɑːtn-/ [verb phrase] British

to protect someone too much by not allowing them to experience difficult or unpleasant situations, so that they find it difficult to deal with such situations when they have to :

▪ I’m getting better, and I have no intention of spending my life wrapped in cotton wool.

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