\ ˈskrēn How to pronounce screen (audio) \

Definition of screen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a protective or ornamental device (such as a movable partition) shielding an area from heat or drafts or from view
2 : something that shelters, protects, or hides: such as
a : a growth or stand of trees, shrubs, or plants
b : a protective formation of troops, ships, or planes
c : something that covers or disguises the true nature (as of an activity or feeling) his geniality is just a screen
d(1) : a maneuver in various sports (such as basketball or ice hockey) whereby an opponent is legally impeded or the opponent's view of the play is momentarily blocked
(2) : screen pass
3a : a perforated plate or cylinder or a meshed wire or cloth fabric usually mounted and used to separate coarser from finer parts
b : a system for examining and separating into different groups
c : a piece of apparatus designed to prevent agencies in one part from affecting other parts an optical screen
d : a frame holding a usually metallic netting used especially in a window or door to exclude pests (such as insects)
4a : a flat surface on which a picture or series of pictures is projected or reflected
b : the surface on which the image appears in an electronic display (as in a television set, radar receiver, or computer terminal) also : the information displayed on a computer screen at one time
5 : a glass plate ruled with crossing opaque lines through which an image is photographed in making a halftone
6 : the motion-picture medium or industry


screened; screening; screens

Definition of screen (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to guard from injury or danger
2a : to give shelter or protection to with or as if with a screen
b : to separate with or as if with a screen also : to shield (an opponent) from a play or from view of a play
3a : to pass (something, such as coal, gravel, or ashes) through a screen to separate the fine part from the coarse also : to remove by a screen
b(1) : to examine usually methodically in order to make a separation into different groups
(2) : to select or eliminate by a screening process
(3) : to test or examine for the presence of something (such as a disease) patients were screened for hepatitis
4 : to provide with a screen to keep out pests (such as insects)
5a(1) : to present (something, such as a motion picture) for viewing on a screen
(2) : to view the presentation of (something, such as a motion picture)
b : to present in a motion picture

intransitive verb

1 : to appear on a motion-picture screen
2 : to provide a screen in a game or sport

Other Words from screen


screenable \ ˈskrē-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce screen (audio) \ adjective
screener noun

Choose the Right Synonym for screen


hide, conceal, screen, secrete, bury mean to withhold or withdraw from sight. hide may or may not suggest intent. hide in the closet a house hidden in the woods conceal usually does imply intent and often specifically implies a refusal to divulge. concealed the weapon screen implies an interposing of something that prevents discovery. a house screened by trees secrete suggests a depositing in a place unknown to others. secreted the amulet inside his shirt bury implies covering up so as to hide completely. buried the treasure

Examples of screen in a Sentence

Noun Don't sit too close to the screen or you'll get a headache. A pop-up ad appeared on the screen. When I go to the movies, I like to sit close to the screen. Verb A committee will screen candidates for the job, but the final hiring decision will be made by Ms. Brown. We screen the kids' music so that we can approve what they listen to. We'll be screening his latest film in two weeks. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For one thing, the Mustang's screens are bigger: its digital gauge cluster measures 12.4 inches, and its central infotainment screen is a huge 13.2 inches. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 15 Sep. 2022 Murmur is the name of a new app that, like Pokémon Go (hello, old people), uses your phone’s screen to integrate digital elements with the real world. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Sep. 2022 Crowder, born and raised in D.C., arrived for class the first day not knowing how to save a document — or how to share his screen with a teaching assistant. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2022 The front light for its larger 6.8-inch screen uses 17 LEDs instead of the Kindle's four for smoother and more uniform lighting. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 13 Sep. 2022 Notifications now appear on the bottom of your lock screen. Joanna Stern, WSJ, 12 Sep. 2022 Maya was almost at a loss for words upon seeing Bailey as Ariel on her television screen. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 12 Sep. 2022 So don't expect to see storylines pertaining to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on your screen. Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Sep. 2022 Place the strips behind a computer monitor and set them up to sync with all the pretty colors on your screen. WIRED, 5 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No longer do schools and other institutions need to screen apparently healthy students and employees as a matter of course. Lena H. Sun And Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Aug. 2022 While urine tests are taken routinely during pregnancy to monitor for conditions like diabetes, dehydration or preeclampsia, women may not know that they can also be used to screen for drugs. Anne Branigin, Washington Post, 2 July 2022 Schools offer us to their off-campus students, Realtors use us to screen new clients before meeting with them as a safety precaution. Christopher Elliott, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 Businesses like restaurants and bars will no longer need to screen customers for proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before allowing entry. Editors, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2022 Would malls need to station employees at all primary entrances to check vaccination cards, or would individual stores need to screen patrons’ inoculation status? Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2021 The plant also hired a company called Examinetics to screen employees before each shift. Michael Holtz, The Atlantic, 14 June 2021 Antonio Lukich’s Luxembourg, Luxembourg, which will screen in competition in Venice’s Horizons section this year, and which Celluloid Dreams is selling worldwide, got post-production support from Sweden’s Göteborg Film Festival. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Sep. 2022 The movie is having its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will also screen in Sept. at the Toronto International Film Festival. Zack Sharf, Variety, 31 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'screen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of screen


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for screen


Middle English screne, from Anglo-French escren, from Middle Dutch scherm; akin to Old High German skirm shield; probably akin to Sanskrit carman skin, kṛnāti he injures — more at shear

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The first known use of screen was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Screen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for screen


\ ˈskrēn How to pronounce screen (audio) \

Kids Definition of screen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a frame that holds a usually wire netting and is used to let air in but keep pests (as insects) out a window screen
2 : a curtain or wall used to hide or to protect
3 : the flat surface on which movies are projected
4 : the surface on which the image appears in an electronic display (as on a television set or computer terminal)
5 : a network of wire set in a frame for separating finer parts from coarser parts (as of sand)


screened; screening

Kids Definition of screen (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to hide or protect with or as if with a curtain or wall … the graveyard … was screened by a stand of evergreens.— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder
2 : to separate or sift with a network of wire set in a frame
3 : to look at carefully to select as suitable The committee screened job candidates.


transitive verb
\ ˈskrēn How to pronounce screen (audio) \

Medical Definition of screen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to test or examine for the presence of something (as a disease) screen patients for prostate cancer a test to screen donor blood for HIV and hepatitis C— Penni Crabtree


Medical Definition of screen (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on screen

Nglish: Translation of screen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of screen for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about screen


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