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Adapted or intended to afford protection.
Something that protects.

pro·tec′tive·ly adv.
pro·tec′tive·ness n.




  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
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


[prəˈtektɪvnɪs] Nactitud f protectora


[prəˈtɛktɪvnɪs] ninstinct m de protection
References in classic literature ?
If he had entered with a pistol in his hand he would scarcely have disturbed her trust in his protectiveness.
I love my cat to pieces, but he has driven a wedge between me and some of my previous partners with his overbearing protectiveness.
Governor Martin O'Malley is certainly right when he says it is shocking that the Democratic primary process will feature a mere four debates before the first four states complete voting a wall of protectiveness to seal off the front-runner.
Instead, vindictive protectiveness is teaching students to think pathologically and is poorly preparing them for professional life - frankly, for any existence beyond the protective university walls.
She admitted to an unconditional love and a feeling of protectiveness for her family members.
Caesar can get past his suspicion of outsiders and his instinctive protectiveness toward his own people; he can feel empathy for the struggling remnant of the human race.
Kanye has shown his protectiveness for his daughter even refusing to have her appear on episodes of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" with his wife and the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
In spite of this momentum, executives continue to report several challenges to effectively innovate, including access to and ability to retain talent, internal inertia, unsupportive policy frameworks, and protectiveness over core revenue streams.
A natural protectiveness in him comes out and entwines him with the children.
Brand protectiveness is at the heart of these reactions, as it should be.
Avoidant men are likely to show only hostility without any princely protectiveness," he added.