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

Islamic State fighters had been using them as human shields. ... Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "Civilians Held by Islamic State in Syria Go Free," 20 Feb. 2019 Confidential resources Non-confidential reporting It has also received backlash for publishing names of people the site’s moderators acknowledge may or may not be guilty, and for doing so under the shield of anonymity. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "UW students publish online ‘rape list’ out of hopelessness," 26 Oct. 2018 Slotin used his body as a shield to attempt to protect other people in the room. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "The One Thing You Should Never Do with a Screwdriver," 30 Nov. 2018 Some bus and truck fleets are equipped with urethane shields, for about $1,400 per wheel, that can sweep fallen people aside, said Chris Ferrone, an expert hired by the Lees. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Metro says fatal Westlake Avenue bus-pedestrian crash was preventable, agrees to $7.7M settlement," 26 Oct. 2018 Metal in a shield, armor or costume is allowed, but will slow down the screening process. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Phoenix Comic Fest guide: Here's how to navigate the event like a superhero," 16 May 2018 For some time now, the fact that Facebook doesn’t sell your personal data directly to advertisers has been a shield that company executives use to protect the company from criticism over its privacy policies. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 This legal doctrine posits that, if the government already knows the testimony that will be obtained, then the Fifth Amendment cannot be a shield. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Court: Teen’s driving killed someone, but he can’t be forced to give up passcode," 28 Oct. 2018 The Ballistic Missile Defense system is a current shield with promising tests thus far. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "New laser-equipped drones will take out missile threats against the US," 7 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As always, further shield your skin by seeking out shade and wearing protective clothing when possible. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use Spray Sunscreen the Right Way, According to Dermatologists," 15 Feb. 2019 The program shields some immigrants from deportation and allows them to work. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to Implement Transgender Restrictions in Military," 22 Jan. 2019 Here on Earth, our thick atmosphere and magnetic field shield us from much of the solar wind. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Two spacecraft are embarking on a seven-year journey to decode Mercury’s mysteries," 19 Oct. 2018 In addition to Piper and Alex, pregnant Lorna (Yael Stone) shields herself from the agony of Litchfield with the mere illusion of romance. Candice Frederick, Teen Vogue, ""Orange is the New Black" Season 6 Has the Women Striving for Peace and Community More Than Ever," 27 July 2018 Jennifer Romm shielded her eyes from the morning sunlight and stared off into the San Francisco Bay in search of her daughter. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hundreds in SF grind out miles in ‘best triathlon in the world’," 3 June 2018 The bill would shield undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children who have been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program from deportation. Clare Foran, CNN, "McCain says he supports effort to force immigration bill to House floor," 2 June 2018 In other words, tick-repelling clothing might actually shield against the little blood-suckers. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Tick-repelling clothes might actually stop the little blood-suckers, CDC says | The Kansas City Star," 24 May 2018 My good health was a cloak, shielding me from thinking about illness and letting me walk in denial. Fiona Tapp, SELF, "What It’s Like to Fill in the Gaps in Your Health History When You’re Adopted," 18 Jan. 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

24 Feb 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

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!