Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
protectorate (plural protectorates)
- Government by a protector; -- applied especially to the government of England by Oliver Cromwell.
- The authority assumed by a superior power over an inferior or a dependent one, whereby the former protects the latter from invasion and shares in the management of its affairs.
- An autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity.
government by a protector
a protected autonomous state