Meaning of “protective” in the English Dictionary

"protective" in British English

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uk /prəˈtek.tɪv/ us /prəˈtek.tɪv/

B2 giving protection:

protective clothing
a protective mask and goggles

C1 wanting to protect someone from criticism, hurt, danger, etc. because you like them very much:

It's easy to be too protective towards/of your children.
She's fiercely protective of the man she married 29 years ago.

More examples

adverb uk /prəˈtek.tɪ us /prəˈtek.tɪ

He put an arm around her shoulder protectively.
noun [ U ] uk /prəˈtek.tɪv.nəs/ us /prəˈtek.tɪv.nəs/

(Definition of “protective” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"protective" in American English

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us /prəˈtek·tɪv/

able to keep someone or something safe from injury or damage:

Firefighters wear protective clothing to reduce the risk of being burned.
She is fiercely protective of her family.

(Definition of “protective” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"protective" in Business English

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uk /prəˈtektɪv/ us

giving protection against a disease, injury, damage, or loss:

Three major drug companies are working to develop protective vaccines.
protective clothing/equipment/gear
protective gloves/masks/suits

ECONOMICS intended to help a country's trade or industry:

If protective barriers disappeared overnight, the country's infant car industry could be wiped out.

(Definition of “protective” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)