\ 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
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from screen


screenable \ ˈskrē-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce screenable (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 Cineplex operates 165 cinemas with 1,695 screens and dominates the Canadian theatrical market. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cineplex Fourth-Quarter Earnings Fall on Regal Owner Deal Costs," 12 Feb. 2020 The slightly higher-end S20 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen and a starting price of $1,200. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Samsung Unpacked 2020: New phones, folding phones, and earbuds," 12 Feb. 2020 Samsung unveiled a foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, on Tuesday, its second attempt to sell its customers on phones with bendable screens and clamshell designs. Rachel Lerman And Kelvin Chan,, "Samsung unveils 2nd folding phone," 11 Feb. 2020 For screen and stage, Mendes works like a sculptor—continually molding and remolding space, speech, and gesture. The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: At the Movies, 2020 Oscars Edition," 9 Feb. 2020 Film festivals and Hollywood movie studios alike have been racing to keep up with the trends in mass media, where cell phones, video games, and subscription streaming services are changing the ways consumers engage with screens and stories. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 Shuzhen lights up the screen, and the 2019 film year is simply better for it. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Forget the Oscars! Our favorite movie performances of 2019," 7 Feb. 2020 All GV80s come generously equipped with a raft of driver-assistance features, power front seats, a 14.5-inch display screen, and creature comforts such as heated front seats and a power liftgate. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "How We'd Spec It: The 2021 Genesis GV80 That Best Exudes Luxury," 3 Feb. 2020 But in a world of six-inch screens and powerful cameras, BlackBerry's vision was a tough sell to anyone but a hopeless nostalgic. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "The final nail may have been driven into BlackBerry’s coffin," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb They were first flown to Travis AFB in California where they were screened for signs of the illness. Sara Cline,, "None of coronavirus evacuees in SA showing signs of illness," 8 Feb. 2020 Of the 27 passengers who were screened, four are being kept under observation at a New Jersey hospital. Josiah Bates, Time, "Passengers Scanned For Coronavirus on Cruise Ship in Bayonne, New Jersey," 7 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, two cruise ships are in quarantine — one in Hong Kong and the other in Japan — as thousands of passengers and crew members are screened for the new coronavirus. NBC News, "Senate acquits Trump, Democrats scramble over 2020 and Kirk Douglas leaves a spirited legacy: The Morning Rundown," 6 Feb. 2020 HanWay Films has acquired worldwide sales rights and will introduce the project at the upcoming European Film Market where the company will screen footage for the first time. Alex Ritman, Billboard, "Johnny Depp to Produce Documentary on The Pogues' Shane MacGowan," 5 Feb. 2020 Beginning Sunday, the United States will direct flights from China to seven major airports where passengers can be screened. Fox News, "CDC confirms seventh coronavirus case in US, as global cases top more than 11,900," 2 Feb. 2020 Despite measures set in place, the Kenya Airways passenger was screened and cleared by China Port health authorities at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and cleared for boarding. Alexandria Williams, Quartz Africa, "African airports and health bodies ready for China’s coronavirus’ as first suspected cases appear," 28 Jan. 2020 Among the initiatives are: Expanding screening for depression and anxiety among children and adolescents. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Children's Wisconsin receives $15 million pledge to improve behavioral health care programs," 27 Jan. 2020 If one bill were passed, the Indiana State Department of Health would have to double the number of children on Medicaid who are screened for lead poisoning. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Here's the latest on environmental bills, including sewage, factory farms, electric vehicles," 16 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about screen

Time Traveler for screen

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for screen

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Screen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for screen


How to pronounce screen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of screen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the usually flat part of a television or computer monitor that shows the images or text : the part of a television or computer that you look at when you are using it
: a large, flat, white surface on which images or movies are shown
: the art or profession of acting in movies



English Language Learners Definition of screen (Entry 2 of 2)

: to examine (people or things) in order to decide if they are suitable for a particular purpose
: to do a test on (someone) to find out if that person has or is likely to develop a disease
: to do a test on (a person's blood, urine, etc.) to find out if the person has been using an illegal substance


\ 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.
\ 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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on screen

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!