\ ˈshēld How to pronounce shield (audio) \
plural shields

Definition of shield

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm
2 : something or someone that protects or defends : defense A healthy lifestyle may act as a shield against preventable diseases.
3a : a device or part that serves as a protective cover or barrier They were covered head to toe in protective gear—rubber boots, gowns, aprons, gloves, masks, head caps and plastic eye shields.— Blaine Harden — see also dress shield, face shield, heat shield, windshield
b : a protective structure (such as a carapace, scale, or plate) of some animals
4 : escutcheon especially : one that is wide at the top and rounds to a point at the bottom
5 : the Precambrian nuclear mass of a continent that is surrounded and sometimes covered by sedimentary rocks
7 : something resembling a shield: such as
b : a police officer's badge
c : a decorative or identifying emblem


shielded; shielding; shields

Definition of shield (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to protect with or as if with a shield : provide with a protective cover or shelter
b : to cut off from observation : hide
2 obsolete : forbid

Other Words from shield


shielder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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 (such 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

Examples of shield in a Sentence

Noun the heat shield on a space shuttle the slightly built boy used his sharp wit as a shield against the school's bullies Verb celebrities who are shielded by a cluster of bodyguards whenever they appear in public she shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun How true, and how interesting to think of the lung as a shield, one that may not be able to purge a barrage of unfriendly virus particles. Eugenia Bone, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 Through a mask, a face shield, goggles, and six feet’s worth of distance, Samuels was still able to communicate his vision. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Jan. 2022 The sun shield, which is 70 feet by 46 feet, keeps all the infrared, heat-sensing science instruments in a constant subzero shadow. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Erasing this protective shield would subject animals and plants to sun damage, potentially altering the food web for thousands of years. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 31 Dec. 2021 Rodriguez can be an incredibly inventive director of action, but the choreography of the scene where Boba, Fennec, and the two Gamorrean fend off the shield-bearing assassins is just okay. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 29 Dec. 2021 Along the way, the Webb will undergo course corrections and a series of critically important deployments of its hardware, including a sun shield the size of a tennis court. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Dec. 2021 The sun shield, made of a film material called Kapton that’s covered in a special coating, helps keep the telescope cool. Los Angeles Times, 25 Dec. 2021 Without that shield, the JWST telescope wouldn't work. Don Lincoln, CNN, 24 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Look for ceramides in your body wash, which trap hydration, shield your skin from environmental damage and prevent moisture loss. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The two men have worked to shield the suicide site and to frustrate efforts to learn who is behind it. New York Times, 9 Dec. 2021 White House handlers shield President Biden from the press as much as possible, and Thursday’s town hall on CNN shows why. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 McConnell has insisted that Democrats use a complex and arcane budget process known as reconciliation to raise the debt limit, which would shield it from a filibuster and allow it to be passed without any Republican votes., 9 Oct. 2021 To make up for that, however, McMillan has developed an incredible knack for catching the ball at its highest point and twisting his body to shield off defenders and make circus catches. oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2021 With each application, your strands will be doused in healing antioxidants to shield them from future damage and boost shine. Patricia Weigel Shannon, Southern Living, 23 June 2021 Additionally, the novelty and whimsical feeling that comes with snow forecasts can shield the harsh realities that come along with a storm. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The Vision Drive Polarized XTR lenses—with four layers, including a contrast enhancer and polarizing filter—shield intense reflection, sharpen depth perception and cut side glint, all with minimal color distortion. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, 26 Dec. 2021

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

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First Known Use of shield


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shield


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

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Time Traveler for shield

Time Traveler

The first known use of shield was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near shield



shield against

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Statistics for shield

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shield.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for shield



English Language Learners Definition of shield

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



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

: to cover and protect (someone or something)
: to prevent (someone or something) from being seen


\ ˈshēld How to pronounce shield (audio) \

Kids Definition of shield

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a broad piece of armor carried (as by a soldier) for protection
2 : something that serves as a defense or protection the heat shield on a space shuttle


shielded; shielding

Kids Definition of shield (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover or screen (as from danger or harm) : provide with protection Shield your eyes from the glare.


\ ˈshēld How to pronounce shield (audio) \

Medical Definition of shield

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

More from Merriam-Webster on shield

Nglish: Translation of shield for Spanish Speakers

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


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