Pronunciation: (pru-tek'tur-it), [key]
1. the relation of a strong state toward a weaker state or territory that it protects and partly controls.
2. a state or territory so protected.
3. the office or position, or the term of office, of a protector.
4. the government of a protector.
5. (cap.) Eng. Hist.the period (1653–59) during which Oliver and Richard Cromwell held the title of Lord Protector, sometimes extended to include the period of the restoration of the Rump Parliament (1659–60).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.