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noun \ˈshēld\

Simple Definition of shield

  • : a large piece of metal, wood, etc., carried by someone (such as a soldier or police officer) for protection

  • : something that defends or protects someone or something

  • : a police officer's badge

Full Definition of shield

  1. 1 :  a broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm

  2. 2 :  one that protects or defends :  defense

  3. 3 :  dress shield

  4. 4a :  a device or part that serves as a protective cover or barrierb :  a protective structure (as a carapace, scale, or plate) of some animals

  5. 5 :  escutcheon; especially :  one that is wide at the top and rounds to a point at the bottom

  6. 6 :  the Precambrian nuclear mass of a continent that is surrounded and sometimes covered by sedimentary rocks

  7. 7 :  something resembling a shield: asa :  apotheciumb :  a police officer's badgec :  a decorative or identifying emblem

Examples of shield

  1. the heat shield on a space shuttle

  2. <the slightly built boy used his sharp wit as a shield against the school's bullies>

Origin of shield

Middle English sheld, from Old English scield; akin to Old High German scilt shield and probably to Old English sciell shell

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with shield



transitive verb

Simple Definition of shield

  • : to cover and protect (someone or something)

  • : to prevent (someone or something) from being seen

Full Definition of shield

  1. 1a :  to protect with or as if with a shield :  provide with a protective cover or shelterb :  to cut off from observation :  hide

  2. 2 obsolete :  forbid

shield·er noun

Examples of shield

  1. <celebrities who are shielded by a cluster of bodyguards whenever they appear in public>

  2. <she shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of shield

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of shield

defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack <defend the country>. protect implies the use of something (as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure <a hard hat to protect your head>. shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack <shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand>. guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger <White House entrances are well guarded>. safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger <our civil liberties must be safeguarded>.

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈshēld\

Medical Definition of shield

  1. :  a structure, device, or part that serves as a protective cover or barrier <a lead shield to protect against X-rays>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up shield? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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