a. The act of protecting.
b. The condition of being protected.
2. One that protects: wore gloves as a protection against cold; saw darkness as their protection in trying to escape.
3. A pass guaranteeing safe-conduct to travelers.
4. Something that lowers the risk of pregnancy or infection, especially the use of a condom.
a. Payment collected by racketeers from businesses or illegal enterprises under threat of violence.
b. Payment made by racketeers to officials or law enforcement to avoid arrest or prosecution.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.