pro·tect vt1: to shield from injury or harmprotect ing public health and safety2: to secure or preserve against encroachment, infringement, restriction, or violation: maintain the status or integrity of esp. through legal or constitutional guaranteesprotect a work against copyright infringementthe First Amendment protect s speech3: to restrict competition for (as domestic industries) by means of tariffs or trade controlspro·tect·able or pro·tect·ible adj
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster. 1996.
arm, armor, attend, barricade, bulwark, care for, champion, chaperone, cherish, conduct, conserve, convoy, cover, cushion, custodire, defend, defendere, ensure, escort, fight for, flank, fortify, foster, garrison, guard, harbor, haven, house, immunize, inoculate, insulate, keep, look after, maintain, mount guard, nurse, patrol, patronize, preserve, safeguard, save, screen, seclude, secure, sentinel, shade, sheathe, shelter, shepherd, shield, shroud, shutter, sponsor, support, sustain, take care of, treasure, tutari, veil, ward, watch over
associated concepts: self-defense
care (be cautious), care (regard), conceal, conserve, cover (guard), defend, ensconce, enshroud, ensure, envelop, foster, harbor, hedge, keep (shelter), maintain (sustain), patrol, police, preserve, save (rescue), screen (guard), shroud, side, sponsor, support (assist), sustain (prolong), uphold
Burton's Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006
v. To keep safe; to preserve something that already exists, as in protecting trade and protecting consumers.
Webster's New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000.