Pronunciation: (pru-tek'shun), [key]
1. the act of protecting or the state of being protected; preservation from injury or harm.
2. a thing, person, or group that protects: This vaccine is a protection against disease.
4. Insurance.coverage (def. 1).
a. money paid to racketeers for a guarantee against threatened violence.
b. bribe money paid to the police, politicians, or other authorities for overlooking criminal activity.
7. a document that assures safety from harm, delay, or the like, for the person, persons, or property specified in it.
8. Archaic.a document given by the U.S. customs authorities to a sailor traveling abroad certifying that the holder is a citizen of the U.S.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.