- a territory largely controlled by but not annexed to a stronger state
- the office or period of office of a protector
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- Governmenta state or territory protected by a stronger nation.
- Governmentthe relation of a strong state toward a weaker state or territory that it protects and partly controls.
- Governmenta state or territory so protected.
- World Historythe office or position, or the term of office, of a protector.
- World Historythe government of a protector.
- World History(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).
- protector + -ate3 1685–95