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A formal declaration whereby a person expresses a personal objection or disapproval of an act. A written statement, made by a notary, at the request of a holder of a bill or a note that describes the bill or note and declares that on a certain day the instrument was presented for, and refused, payment.

A protest is generally made to save some right that would be waived unless a negative opinion was expressly voiced. Taxes are often paid under protest, an action by which a taxpayer reserves the right to recover the amount paid if he has sufficient evidence to prevail.

The document states the reasons for the refusal and provides for the notary to protest against all parties to the instrument declaring that they can be held liable for any loss or damages. A notice of protest is given by the holder of the instrument to the drawer or endorser of the instrument.


v. 1) to complain in some public way about any act already done or about to be done, such as adoption of a regulation by a county board, sending troops overseas, or use of the death penalty. 2) to dispute the amount of property taxes, the assessed evaluation of property for tax purposes, or an import duty. 3) n. a written demand for payment of the amount owed on a promissory note which has not been paid when due or a check which has been dishonored (not paid by the bank).


noun challenge, clamor, complaint, criticism, declaration of disapproval, declaration of dissent, declaration of opposition, defiance, disapproval, dissent, dissidence, formal criticism, forral declaration, formal declaration of dissent, hostile demonstration, opposition, outcry, remonstration, repudiation, resistance
Associated concepts: file a protest


verb announce, attack, challenge, complain, contradict, contravene, cry out against, dehort, demur, deny, disaffirm, disagree, disapprove, disclaim, discountenance, dispute, dissent, exclaim against, exhort against, express opposition, go contrary to, impugn, inveigh, negate, oppose, raise objections, recusare, refuse, remonstrate, reprehend, repudiate, revolt, speak against, take exception, traverse, veto, vote against
Associated concepts: payment under protest, protest a will, protest an election, written notice of protest
See also: admonition, avow, challenge, complain, complaint, conflict, confront, contention, counter, counteract, criticize, cross, demur, denial, deprecate, differ, disaccord, disaffirm, disagree, disallow, disapprobation, disapprove, disavow, disown, disparagement, dissension, dissent, drawback, except, exception, expostulate, fight, gainsay, impugnation, negate, negation, nonconformity, object, objection, oppose, opposition, oppugn, outcry, picket, prohibit, reaction, refuse, reject, remonstrance, remonstrate, renounce, reprehend, repudiate, resist, resistance


a procedure under which evidence of the dishonour of a BILL OF EXCHANGE is provided.

PROTEST, mar. law. A writing, attested by a justice of the peace or a consul, drawn by the master of a vessel, stating the severity of a voyage by which a ship has suffered, and showing it was not owing to the neglect or misconduct of the master. Vide Marsh. Ins. 715, 716. See 1 Wash. C. R. 145; Id. 238; Id. 408, n.; 1 Pet. C. R. 119; 1 Dall. 6; Id. 10; Id. 317; 2 Dall. 195; 3 Watts & Serg. 144; 3 Binn. 228, n.; 1 Yeates, 261.

PROTEST, legislation. A declaration made by one or more members of a legislative body that they do not agree with some act or resolution of the body; it is usual to add the reasons which the protestants have for such a dissent.

PROTEST, contracts. A notarial act, made for want of payment of a promissory note, or for want of acceptance or payment of a bill of exchange, by a notary public, in which it is declared that all parties to such instruments will be held responsible to the holder for all damages, exchanges, reexchanges, &c.
     2. There are two kinds of protest, namely, protest for non-acceptance, and protest for non-payment. When a protest is made and notice of the non- payment or non-acceptance given to the parties in proper time, they will be held responsible. 3 Kent, Com. 63; Chit. on Bills, 278; 3 Pardes. n. 418 to 441; Merl. Repert. h.t.; COID. Dig. Merchant, F 8, 9, 10; Bac. Ab. Merchant, &c. M 7.
     3. There is also a species of protest, common in England, which is called protest for better security. It may be made when a merchant who has accepted a bill becomes insolvent, or is publicly reported to have failed in his credit, or absents himself from change, before the bill he has accepted becomes due, or when the holder has any just reason to suppose it will not be paid; and on demand the acceptor refuses to give it. Notice of such protest must, as in other cases, be sent by the first post. 1 Ld. Raym. 745; Mar. 27.
     4. In making the protest, three things are to be done: the noting; demanding acceptance or payment or, as above, better security and drawing up the protest. 1. The noting, (q.v.) is unknown to the law as distinguished from the protest. 2. The demand, (q.v.) which must be made by a person having authority to receive the money. 3. The drawing up of the protest, which is a mere matter of form. Vide Acceptance; Bills of Exchange.

References in classic literature ?
Pumblechook, though in a condition of ruffled dignity, could not protest.
e of our forefathers; indeed, I am convinced, that however I myself may fail in the ensuing attempt, yet, with more labour in collecting, or more skill in using, the materials within his reach, illustrated as they have been by the labours of Dr Henry, of the late Mr Strutt, and, above all, of Mr Sharon Turner, an abler hand would have been successful; and therefore I protest, beforehand, against any argument which may be founded on the failure of the present experiment.
Since you have no desire to keep faith with me by upholding the rules, of which you are quite old enough to understand the necessity, I shall not trouble you with reproaches, or appeals to which I am now convinced that you would not respond," (here Miss Carpenter, with an inarticulate protest, burst into tears); "but you should at least think of the danger into which your juniors are led by your childishness.
The doctor tried to make a short protest, but, perceiving the girl's evident agitation, he thought the best remedy was not to thwart her.
Nay, I protest against your going needlessly far," said Sheriff.
They express the consciousness that you have no enemy to punish, but that you have pain; the consciousness that in spite of all possible Wagenheims you are in complete slavery to your teeth; that if someone wishes it, your teeth will leave off aching, and if he does not, they will go on aching another three months; and that finally if you are still contumacious and still protest, all that is left you for your own gratification is to thrash yourself or beat your wall with your fist as hard as you can, and absolutely nothing more.
No, again I protest against it, little Barbara; again I protest.
In other things, the predominancy of custom is everywhere visible; insomuch as a man would wonder, to hear men profess, protest, engage, give great words, and then do, just as they have done before; as if they were dead images, and engines moved only by the wheels of custom.
Half an hour later I was seated in the newspaper office with a huge tome in front of me, which had been opened at the article "Weissmann versus Darwin," with the sub heading, "Spirited Protest at Vienna.
Other parents came to the school to protest in person.
He saw the Negroes gather about the prostrate form and later carry it into the hut; and once he rose to his full height upon the limb where he had been squatting and raised his face to the heavens to scream out a savage protest and a challenge, for he had recognized in the brown-skinned Tarmangani the strange white ape who had come among them a night or two before in the midst of their Dum-Dum, and who by so easily mastering the greatest among them, had won the savage respect and admiration of this fierce young bull.
I had so," cried Davy, but in the voice of one who doth protest too much.