Pronunciation: (pru-tek'tur), [key]
1. a person or thing that protects; defender; guardian.
2. Eng. Hist.
a. a person in charge of the kingdom during the sovereign's minority, incapacity, or absence.
b. (cap.) Also called Lord Protector. the title of the head of the government during the period of the Protectorate, held by Oliver Cromwell (1653–58) and by Richard Cromwell, his son (1658–59).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.