Definition of protective in US English:



  • 1Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.

    ‘protective gloves are worn to minimize injury’
    • ‘Although carbohydrates boosted blood sugar, protein produced stable glucose levels that may be more protective against afternoon tiredness.’
    • ‘However, we do also know that activity is good for you, and even protective against some of the more terminal conditions that we can get, like the aforementioned heart attacks.’
    • ‘The blade body consists of a spar assembly, leading edge protective strips, skins over a honeycomb core and a trailing edge strip.’
    • ‘These protective zones also surround public and private vehicles.’
    • ‘So in terms of making the country work to be protective against these kinds of things, we have a way to go.’
    • ‘A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins (A, C and E), available in fresh fruit and vegetables, is thought to be protective against stomach cancer.’
    • ‘And that's not to mention research showing that beer is protective against gallstone formation, osteoporosis and even diabetes.’
    • ‘Antioxidant micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables have been shown in numerous studies to be protective against cancer.’
    • ‘Surely, it was an inconvenient oddity - the thin silk kimonos favored by geisha were more decorative than protective against the elements.’
    • ‘He added: ‘Anyone moving sandbags should do so carefully as they are heavy, and people should wear protective gloves.’’
    • ‘But there is no treatment known to eliminate them, although the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables are protective against many things.’
    • ‘One day I opened up a disposable camera package in my classroom, which came in an anti-x-ray metal foil packet and was wrapped in a cardboard protective lining.’
    • ‘Evidently, whatever sort of debilitating bug was on that disk, it had so far managed to get past one of the best protective programs available.’
    • ‘As he arrived he saw neighbours being forced back from the house by the intense heat of the inferno, and dashed towards the end terrace house without stopping to put on any protective fireproof clothing or his breathing gear.’
    • ‘Other male contraceptive formulations in production have been shown to decrease good HDL cholesterol levels, which are protective against heart disease.’
    • ‘They are calling for protective barriers to be put in place and intend to raise awareness on this issue at the ceremony.’
    • ‘In epidemiologic studies, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are often more protective against diseases than fibre supplements.’
    • ‘Elevation and windage are adjustable by removing the two protective covers over the setscrews on the front of the sight housing.’
    • ‘Affluent populations are, in general, the first to take up practices that are perceived as protective of child health; in the latter part of the decade, this meant declining immunisation.’
    preservative, protecting, safeguarding, shielding, defensive, safety, precautionary, preventive, preventative, covering
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    1. 1.1 Having or showing a strong wish to keep someone or something safe from harm.
      ‘I felt protective toward her’
      ‘Marco wrapped a protective arm around her shoulder’
      • ‘I guess I was a bit protective of Beth, but she was my cousin and one of my best friends, and I knew Jake and Matt too well to want her to be with either of them.’
      • ‘I understand why he is so protective of his only girl, but sometimes it eats me up inside that I have to lie to him constantly.’
      • ‘He is somewhat of a loner, rather introverted, and protective of his ‘space.’’
      • ‘As such, he was steeped in the culture of his job - this means that he was protective of his trust assets and of his beneficiaries' apparent requirements.’
      • ‘I knew he must have been kidding, but I felt a bit protective about Stephanie, even though she completely hated me.’
      • ‘The intelligence community will always be protective of sources and methods.’
      • ‘They stated being protective of their time, cautiously deciding how it would be best utilized.’
      • ‘He also is protective of his Hall of Fame legacy.’
      • ‘Four girls appear, dressed in white afternoon dresses with full skirts and short sleeves, the picture of mid-adolescent or young womanhood, protective of each other in a two by two pattern.’
      • ‘These systems are often rigidly organized and protective of their members.’
      • ‘Females are protective of their young and care for them for about a year, even though the young are weaned and begin hunting for food at about two or three months.’
      • ‘Plus, much as I hated Rachel, she was my sister, and I guess I was a little protective.’
      • ‘All fathers act a little protective, especially to their daughters.’
      • ‘Suddenly, I'm feeling a bit protective of her, too.’
      • ‘He thought of her as his little girl still, so sometimes he was a bit protective.’
      • ‘His mother was protective of him - she had been ever since his father had died - but she wasn't letting him live his own life.’
      • ‘Still, she could help but feel a little protective.’
      • ‘My parents raised him to be respectful of all women, and he is protective of me and my mother.’
      • ‘Could it have anything to do with my dog being protective of me?’
      • ‘Be protective of your account numbers, passwords and Social Security number.’
      solicitous, caring, mindful, careful, wary, watchful, vigilant, warm, maternal, paternal, fatherly, motherly, gallant, chivalrous
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    2. 1.2Economics Relating to the protection of domestic industries from foreign competition.
      ‘protective tariffs’
      • ‘His intention was to assist in the creation of a viable and efficient indigenous cement industry, and it was part of the strategy to build up an industrial base here behind protective tariffs.’
      • ‘In 1821 the Congressional Committee of Manufacturers issued a report calling for protective tariffs to expand industry.’
      • ‘The Tariff Reformers advocated protective indirect taxes to raise such revenues: the Liberals legislated for expanded direct taxes.’
      • ‘They advocated protective tariffs for industry, a national bank, and plenty of public works and patronage.’
      • ‘If the single tax raised all the revenue needed by government, it would render a protective tariff unnecessary for revenue raising.’