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1 : the act of protecting
: the state of being protected [entitled to constitutional ]
2 a : one that protects
b : supervision or support of one having less power [ of endangered species]
3 : the freeing of the producers of goods of a country from foreign competition in their home market by restrictions (as high duties) on foreign competitive goods
4 a : immunity from prosecution purchased by criminals through bribery
b : money extorted by racketeers posing as a protective association
5 : coverage for loss provided by insurance
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.