protect

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protect against (someone or something)

1. To guard, defend, or inoculate against someone or something. This vaccine protects against the flu for the entire winter. We need to invest in top-of-the-line security software to protect against cyber attacks. The walls of the encampment were fortified and lined with spears to protect against invaders.
2. To guard, defend, or inoculate someone, something, or oneself against someone or something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "protect" and "against." I know you want to protect your kids against injury, but you can't keep them cut off from the real world either. Tourists are being advised to protect themselves against pickpockets in the city center.
See also: protect

heaven protects children, sailors, and drunken men

A phrase used to explain how these vulnerable groups are able to avoid harm. Of course heaven protects children, sailors, and drunken men—how do you think Billy's managed to avoid hurting himself when he rides his bike so recklessly?
See also: and, drunken, heaven, men, protect

Heaven protects children(, sailors,) and drunken men.

Prov. Children(, sailors,) and drunk(ard)s often escape being injured in dangerous situations. (Often used to express amazement that a child, sailor, or drunk person has escaped injury.) Jill: Did you hear? A little girl fell out of a second-floor window in our apartment building. Jane: Was she killed? Jill: She wasn't even hurt. Jane: Heaven protects children, sailors, and drunken men. Mike was so drunk he shouldn't even have been conscious, but he managed to drive home without hurting himself or anyone else; heaven protects children and drunkards.

protect someone or something against someone or something

 and protect someone or something from someone or something
to shield or preserve someone or something against someone or something. Please come along and protect us against muggers as we walk home. What will protect my car against thieves?
See also: protect
References in periodicals archive ?
Gone were the days when a gal went modestly into the shower in a robe and pulled a curtain protectingly across while she scrubbed herself.
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