shield

noun
\ ˈshēld How to pronounce shield (audio) \

Definition of shield

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm
2 : one that protects or defends : defense
4a : a device or part that serves as a protective cover or barrier
b : a protective structure (such as a carapace, scale, or plate) of some animals
5 : escutcheon especially : one that is wide at the top and rounds to a point at the bottom
6 : 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

shield

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shield

Verb

shielder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for shield

Verb

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Delve into gladiatorial history and examine authentic artifacts including shields, swords, and armor. National Geographic, "Italy Family Journey: Venice to Rome," 12 June 2019 Debris remains scattered behind a green fence shield, and the Raoul/Nerheim suit is one of many expected to be filed. Charles Selle, Lake County News-Sun, "Selle: Waukegan blast lawsuit a dud when compared to EtO risks," 10 June 2019 Here, Kardashian West shares a selfie exclusively with Vogue, modeling one of her favorite pairs: a slim, mirrored shield. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Is Debuting a New Collection of Sunglasses—and They’re All Less Than $100," 20 Feb. 2019 That is largely because Islamic State militants have put up a fierce resistance, using human shields, minefields and suicide bombers to slow the SDF’s advance in mostly desert area. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "U.S.-Backed Forces Push to Capture Islamic State’s Last Territory in Syria," 11 Feb. 2019 But another counter-protester, holding a shield, moves in, stands above Welch and then jabs him with a makeshift weapon. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Bernie Sanders supporter protesting right-wing rally with American flag beaten up by Antifa, video shows," 21 Aug. 2018 Gigi already took the new collection to Fashion Week, stepping out wearing the '90s-style 'Lafayette' cat-eyes in Paris and the mirrored G-Vision visor shields in Milan. Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid x Vogue Eyewear Launch Is Making Me Love Visor Shields Again," 12 Mar. 2019 To cap it all off, the reality TV star threw on a futuristic pair of shield-like sunglasses, leaning into the Yeezy Barbie aesthetic. Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Is Bringing Back This OTT Boot Trend," 29 Apr. 2019 Judging by this shield and sword combo, Badu is clearly in warrior mode at the start of 2019. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "No, Erykah Badu’s Latest Headwear Isn’t a Huge Hat—It’s an Extreme Pair of Glasses," 11 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before wearing your shoes for the first time, spray suede (real or faux) with a product like Kiwi Suede Protector, to help shield them from dirt and water stains. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Clean and Protect Suede Shoes," 16 May 2019 If the Russian military fired accurately on the U.S. Army vehicles, then the U.S. Army vehicles would be hit by potentially lethal rounds without APS to shield them. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "'Force field' technology could make US tanks unstoppable," 3 Aug. 2018 During the shooting, Waring, the bride’s father dove in front of her to shield her, Walker says. Wendy Grossman Kantor, PEOPLE.com, "Pa. Father Saves Lives of Pregnant Daughter, Unborn Twins by Shielding Her From Gunfire on Her Wedding Night," 25 May 2018 In the face of such exploitative forces, Americans have historically asked government to shield them. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "It’s Time to Regulate the Internet," 21 Mar. 2018 Five of the officers used Long's house to shield themselves from the gunman. Glenn E. Rice And Joe Robertson, kansascity, "Neighbors recall horrifying gun battle where Clinton Officer Ryan Morton was killed | The Kansas City Star," 7 Mar. 2018 Government isn’t ready to shield us, Weinberg says: Congress allowed the old prohibition against your Internet service provider selling your browser history to expire last year. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "DuckDuckGo's Gabe Weinberg on how big Internet firms trample our privacy online," 6 Mar. 2018 As legend has it, Lady Godiva rode through the streets of eleventh-century Coventry with only her flowing mane to shield her in an exhibitionist bid to lower taxes. Emily Spivak, Vogue, "How Extra-Long Hair Became This Season’s Most Subversive Style," 16 May 2019 High-voltage electricians wear protective clothing to shield them from the explosive power of a high-voltage arc flash—a high-energy spark that jumps through the air from one conductor to another. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of shield

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for shield

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shield

Statistics for shield

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shield

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shield

shield

noun

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
US : a police officer's badge

shield

verb

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

shield

noun
\ 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

shield

verb
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.

shield

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on shield

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shield

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shield

Spanish Central: Translation of shield

Nglish: Translation of shield for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shield for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shield

Comments on shield

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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