protective

Anything that's protective safeguards or watches out for something (or someone) else. Protective gear keeps you safe from physical injury, and a protective parent cares for and worries about their children.

When you work with dangerous chemicals or toxic substances, it makes sense to wear protective masks or gloves, and a new bicycle rider is smart to wear a protective helmet. The first time you bring your new puppy to the dog park, you're likely to be protective of him, keeping him safe from bigger, older dogs. The Latin root of protective is protegere, "to cover in front, or to protect."

Definitions of protective
  1. adjective
    intended or adapted to afford protection of some kind
    “a protective covering”
    “the use of protective masks and equipment”
    protective coatings”
    “animals with protective coloring”
    protective tariffs”
    Synonyms:
    defensive
    intended or appropriate for defending against or deterring aggression or attack
    preventative, preventive
    tending to prevent or hinder
    cautionary, prophylactic
    warding off
    antifertility, contraceptive, prophylactic
    capable of preventing conception or impregnation
    custodial, tutelar, tutelary
    providing protective supervision; watching over or safeguarding
    evasive
    avoiding or escaping from difficulty or danger especially enemy fire
    overprotective
    overly protective
    preservative
    tending or having the power to preserve
    protecting
    shielding (or designed to shield) against harm or discomfort
    restrictive
    (of tariff) protective of national interests by restricting imports
    safety-related
    providing or ensuring safety
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    Antonyms:
    unprotective
    not affording protection
  2. adjective
    showing care
    “a protective mother”
    Synonyms:
    tender
    given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality
  3. adjective
    (usually followed by `of') solicitously caring or mindful
    protective of his reputation”
    Synonyms:
    careful
    exercising caution or showing care or attention
Word Family