Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Adapted or intended to afford protection.
Something that protects.

pro·tec′tive·ly adv.
pro·tec′tive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. Guard [another person] like an armed sentry —Isak Dinesen
  2. Mothers him like an old mare —Jilly Cooper
  3. [Trees] preserved at all costs, like Grandpa’s teeth —Elizabeth Bishop
  4. Protective [of property] as a lion in winter —Anon

    This may have been inspired by James Goldman’s play, The Lion in Winter, a simile from which can be found under AMBITION.

  5. Protectively, like shepherd dogs —Harvey Swados
  6. [Wife] watches over my reputation like a broody hen —Luigi Pirandello
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.protectiveness - a feeling of protective affection
affection, affectionateness, philia, warmness, warmheartedness, fondness, tenderness, heart - a positive feeling of liking; "he had trouble expressing the affection he felt"; "the child won everyone's heart"; "the warmness of his welcome made us feel right at home"
2.protectiveness - the quality of providing protection; "statistical evidence for the protectiveness of vaccination"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[prəˈtektɪvnɪs] Nactitud f protectora
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[prəˈtɛktɪvnɪs] ninstinct m de protection
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
If he had entered with a pistol in his hand he would scarcely have disturbed her trust in his protectiveness.
But she has traits we never really think about: her fortitude and her protectiveness as a mother.
Mr Douglas-Jones said because of his heightened sense of protectiveness, it had led the defendant to act irrationally.
The researchers categorized dogs based upon 13 traits - age, sex, color, size, purebred status, previous training, nervousness, protectiveness, intelligence, excitability, energy level, playfulness, and friendliness.
Most parents would be appalled by the idea - but this fascinating three-part series asks whether our protectiveness hampers British youngsters' development.
They are also usually fair people and they have an innate protectiveness for the underdog.
Quezon City's Tandang Sora Award is given to women who exemplify Melchora Aquino's (also known as Tandang Sora) virtues of bravery, word of honor, kindness, protectiveness, industry, and service to fellowmen.
Companies in the global ice hockey apparel market are working towards increasing the comfort levels of their apparels while simultaneously boosting their protectiveness quotient.
We'd often laugh at her protectiveness towards us, but honestly, I don't think I would have stuck around this long if it hadn't been Sultana's assuring presence.
Rather, the technology exacerbates a pre-existing struggle between the parent's protectiveness and the child's quest for privacy and freedom.