• (British) IPA: /ˈpɹəʊ.tɛst/
  • (America) enPR: prōʹtĕst, IPA: /ˈpɹoʊ.tɛst/
  • enPR: prə.tĕstʹ, IPA: /pɹəˈtɛst/

protest (protests, present participle protesting; past and past participle protested)

  1. (intransitive) To make a strong objection.
    How dare you, I protest!
    The public took to the streets to protest over the planned change to the law.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828 ↗:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, but I would not go out of my way to protest against it. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. I would very gladly make mine over to him if I could.
  2. (transitive) To affirm (something).
    I protest my innocence.
    I do protest and declare …
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      I will protest your cowardice.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      Our youth, now, emboldened with his success, resolved to push the matter farther, and ventured even to beg her recommendation of him to her father's service; protesting that he thought him one of the honestest fellows in the country, and extremely well qualified for the place of a gamekeeper, which luckily then happened to be vacant.
    • 1919, William Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, Ch.8
      She flashed a smile at me, and, protesting an engagement with her dentist, jauntily walked on.
  3. (transitive, chiefly, North America) To object to.
    They protested the demolition of the school.
  4. To call as a witness in affirming or denying, or to prove an affirmation; to appeal to.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Fiercely [they] opposed / My journey strange, with clamorous uproar / Protesting fate supreme.
  5. (legal, transitive) to make a solemn written declaration, in due form, on behalf of the holder, against all parties liable for any loss or damage to be sustained by non-acceptance or non-payment of (a bill or note). This should be made by a notary public, whose seal it is the usual practice to affix.
  6. (obsolete, transitive) To publish; to make known.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: торжественный
  • German: Einspruch erheben, Einwände äußern


  1. A formal objection, especially one by a group.
    They lodged a protest with the authorities.
  2. A collective gesture of disapproval; a demonstration.
    We held a protest in front of City Hall.
  3. The noting by a notary public of an unpaid or unaccepted bill.
  4. A written declaration, usually by the master of a ship, stating the circumstances attending loss or damage of ship or cargo, etc.
Synonyms Translations Translations

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