The Meaning of Protocol: What It Is and How To Use It

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In the past, maybe someone has told you to make sure you’re following proper protocol. But how can you follow protocol if you do not know what the word protocol means? 

This article will define the word protocol and teach you how to use it in a sentence. Then, it will provide additional information about the translations, synonyms, and antonyms of the word protocol.

What Does Protocol Mean?

According to Dictionary, protocol is a noun that refers to a set of rules or system of rules. Sometimes, people can use this word to refer to a type of agreement or a draft of a treaty. The pronunciation of protocol is ˈproʊ təˌkɔl.

In the computing field, protocol refers to a set of rules that computers have to follow when exchanging messages, such as hypertext transfer protocol, network protocol, and internet protocol.

How Can We Use Protocol in a Sentence?

Protocol is a fairly common word that you might hear people use in the English language. Below, we have provided several example sentences that contain this word of the day. Using words like protocol in a sentence is a great way to reinforce their definition. After you examine these examples of protocol, try coming up with your own!

Example #1

While they did not follow the medical treatment protocol during the surgery, the official record stated otherwise. When the doctors botched the surgery, the patient had trouble suing the hospital because all of the records stated that they followed proper procedure.

Example #2

During the scientific experiment, everyone had to follow specific safety protocols or they could have been badly burned. 

Example #3

They revised the original draft of the diplomatic protocol international agreement after the meeting between the heads of state.

Example #4

Everyone at the ball had to follow the courtesies laid out in the royal protocol. This code of behavior had to be followed exactly.

Example #5

The FBI fired the man after his breach of protocol. The bureau could no longer trust him to maintain privacy and integrity. 

Example #6

The pilot did not follow proper communications protocol and, as a result, nearly crashed into another plant upon landing. As a result, the airline severely reprimanded him and almost took away his pilot’s license.

What Is the Etymology of Protocol?

The word protocol originates from the French protocole and Old French prothocole. These terms stem from the Late Greek prōtokollon and protokoll, as well as the Medieval Latin prōtocollum and its stem proto.

What Are Translations of Protocol?

Just like in American English, people in other languages might be asked or commanded to follow a specific set of protocols. Below, Nice Translator provides a list of translations of the word protocol. 

You can use these translations if you are going to be traveling to another country, especially if you are traveling on business.

  • Indonesian: protokol
  • Ukrainian: протокол
  • Finnish: protokolla
  • Arabic: بروتوكول
  • Greek: πρωτόκολλο
  • Icelandic: bókun
  • Tamil: நெறிமுறை
  • Romanian: protocol
  • Portuguese (Brazil): protocolo
  • Portuguese (Portugal): protocolo
  • Spanish: protocolo
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 協議
  • Malayalam: പ്രോട്ടോക്കോൾ
  • Bulgarian: протокол
  • Hebrew: נוהל
  • Amharic: ፕሮቶኮል
  • Italian: protocollo
  • Urdu: پروٹوکول
  • Korean: 규약
  • Catalan: protocol
  • Chinese (PRC): 协议
  • Slovenian: protokol
  • Slovak: protokol
  • French: protocole
  • Swahili: Itifaki
  • Polish: protokół
  • Welsh: phrotocol
  • Basque: protokolo
  • Telugu: ప్రోటోకాల్
  • Serbian: протокол
  • Kannada: ಶಿಷ್ಟಾಚಾರ
  • Malay: protokol
  • Norwegian: protokoll
  • Thai: มาตรการ
  • Japanese: プロトコル
  • Czech: protokol
  • Marathi: प्रोटोकॉल
  • Vietnamese: giao thức
  • Dutch: protocol
  • Russian: протокол
  • Turkish: protokol
  • Bengali: প্রোটোকল
  • Lithuanian: protokolas
  • Gujarati: પ્રોટોકોલ
  • Swedish: protokoll
  • Danish: protokol
  • Hungarian: jegyzőkönyv
  • Estonian: protokoll
  • German: Protokoll
  • Latvian: protokols
  • Croatian: protokol
  • Hindi: मसविदा बनाना

What Are Synonyms of Protocol?

Protocol is a fairly formal word that implies a strict set of rules that must be followed perfectly. Sometimes, you might be searching for a word that has the same definition as the word protocol without the formal connotation. 

For this, you can use a synonym of the word protocol from Power Thesaurus. Not only are synonyms useful for finding words that have a different connotation than a particular word, but they are also useful if you think you might be using the word protocol too much and are looking to switch things up.

  • accepted behavior
  • accord
  • agreement
  • amenities
  • ceremonies
  • ceremoniousness
  • ceremony
  • civility
  • code
  • code of conduct
  • codes
  • compact
  • concordat
  • contract
  • convention
  • conventions
  • courtesy
  • covenant
  • custom
  • customs
  • deal
  • decorum
  • diplomatic code
  • done thing
  • entente
  • etiquette
  • form
  • formalities
  • formality
  • good form
  • habit
  • manner
  • manners
  • minutes
  • mores
  • niceties
  • obligation
  • pact
  • policy
  • polite behavior
  • politeness
  • politesse
  • practice
  • procedure
  • proprieties
  • propriety
  • punctilio
  • regulations
  • ritual
  • rule
  • rules
  • rules of conduct
  • social code
  • social conduct
  • social graces
  • social procedures
  • standard procedure
  • tradition
  • treaty

What Are Antonyms of Protocol?

If someone is going against protocol, you might say that they are doing the opposite of following protocol. If you are looking for a way to say the opposite of the word protocol, look no further than this list of antonyms of the word protocol from Power Thesaurus.

  • barbarism
  • blooper
  • blunder
  • boner
  • boo-boo
  • coarseness
  • corruption
  • crime
  • delinquency
  • dishonesty
  • error
  • familiarity
  • fault
  • faux pas
  • gaffe
  • gaucherie
  • immodesty
  • immorality
  • improperness
  • impropriety
  • in-appositeness
  • inappropriateness
  • incongruity
  • incorrectness
  • indecency
  • indecorousness
  • indecorum
  • indelicacy
  • indiscretion
  • inexpedience
  • infelicity
  • iniquity
  • irregularities
  • irregularity
  • lapse
  • lewdness
  • liberty
  • malfeasance
  • misbehavior
  • misconduct
  • misdeed
  • misdemeanor
  • mistake
  • obscenity
  • offense
  • peccadillo
  • scandal
  • sinfulness
  • slip
  • solecism
  • transgression
  • undesirability
  • unfitness
  • unseemliness
  • unsuitability
  • unsuitableness
  • vulgarity
  • wickedness
  • wrongdoing
  • wrongness


The definition of protocol is a noun that refers to a set of rules and regulations. If someone is following protocol, this means that they are following the rules. If someone goes against protocol, this means that they are not following the rules.


Protocol synonyms – 435 Words and Phrases for Protocol | Power Thesaurus

Impropriety Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 

Protocol | Nice Translator 

Protocol Definition & Meaning |