sun·​screen | \ˈsən-ˌskrēn \

Definition of sunscreen 

1 : a screen to protect against sun

2 : a preparation (such as a lotion) applied to the skin to prevent sunburn (as by chemically absorbing ultraviolet radiation) also : its active ingredient (as benzophenone) — compare sunblock

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Other Words from sunscreen

sunscreening \ˈsən-​ˌskrē-​niŋ \ adjective

Examples of sunscreen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dermatologists say: Don't forget to treat your neck — especially with sunscreen. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: How Normal Are Your Skincare Habits?," 10 Sep. 2018 Shinekwa Kershaw, 27, stood outside Armageddon armed with an umbrella, a lawn chair and a bottle of spray sunscreen. Zoe Greenberg, New York Times, "Friday the 13th, a ‘Tattoo Holiday’," 13 July 2018 Catherine Hautphenne covered her legs in sunscreen while her red-and-yellow Romelo Lukaku jersey gleamed in the sun. Sarah Ravani,, "French connection: Fans flock to San Francisco’s World Cup watch party," 10 July 2018 Hawaii is ending the sale of sunscreen containing two chemicals believed to harm coral reefs. CBS News, "Hawaii moves to ban sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals," 4 July 2018 Something tells us attendees are going to want to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of sunscreen to reapply throughout the day, and drink plenty of water. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Calling All Ree Drummond Fans: Pawhuska Is the Place to Be This Fourth of July," 3 July 2018 This plan also does not come with a sunscreen, so make sure to grab one that is thin, as the moisturizer in this kit can feel a little heavy. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Best skincare regiments for summer selfies," 8 May 2018 Swap your chemical sunscreen for these gentle, easy-to-use physical blockers. Lindsey M. Roberts, The Seattle Times, "The best sunscreens for your skin — and the earth, too," 24 Aug. 2018 Pack your beach bag, head towards water, and don't forget your reef-safe sunscreen. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "Our 10 Favorite Wetsuits for the Dog Days of Summer," 9 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sunscreen.' 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 sunscreen

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near sunscreen







sunset clam

Statistics for sunscreen

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sunscreen

The first known use of sunscreen was in 1738

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More Definitions for sunscreen



English Language Learners Definition of sunscreen

: a lotion that you put on your skin to prevent sunburn by blocking out some of the sun's rays


sun·​screen | \ˈsən-ˌskrēn \

Kids Definition of sunscreen

: a preparation applied to the skin to prevent sunburn usually by chemically absorbing the sun's ultraviolet radiation


sun·​screen | \-ˌskrēn \

Medical Definition of sunscreen 

: a preparation (as a lotion) applied to the skin to prevent sunburn (as by chemically absorbing ultraviolet radiation) also : its active ingredient (as benzophenone) — compare sunblock

Other Words from sunscreen

sunscreening adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on sunscreen

Spanish Central: Translation of sunscreen

Nglish: Translation of sunscreen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sunscreen for Arabic Speakers

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