protect vt1 : to shield from injury or harm [ing public health and safety]
2 : to secure or preserve against encroachment, infringement, restriction, or violation
: maintain the status or integrity of esp. through legal or constitutional guarantees [ a work against copyright infringement] [the First Amendment s speech]
3 : to restrict competition for (as domestic industries) by means of tariffs or trade controls
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.