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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sunscreen

sunscreening \ˈsən-ˌskrē-niŋ \ adjective

Examples of sunscreen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While oxybenzone and octinoxate are in the majority of sunscreens, there are chemical-free options. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Hawaii to Become First in the World to Ban Sunscreens Harmful to the Environment," 2 July 2018 There's great discounts ont the Google Home and Google Home Mini as well as patio furniture, sunscreen, luggage, and more. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "All the other stores having sales for Amazon Prime Day," 13 July 2018 Glowing healthy skin is so, so in, and lots of steps for care — sheet masks, toners, cleansers, sunscreens, eye treatments. Jane Larkworthy, The Cut, "Unilever’s Esi Eggleston Bracey Wants to Make Women Feel Good," 3 July 2018 The best ones are roomy enough for sunscreen, snacks, and even multiple outfits—plus any impulse buys after stopping by the farmer's market on a whim. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "20 Summer Bags That Literally Hold Everything," 2 July 2018 Swimmers can also reduce their risk of getting stung by sea lice by wearing sunscreen (which may protect skin from penetration by the larvae) and by not wearing a t-shirt in the water (so larvae don’t get stuck between clothing and skin). Amanda Macmillan,, "What Are Sea Lice, and How Do You Avoid Their Red, Itchy Rash?," 27 June 2018 Skies may stay sunny, so do mindfully wear that sunscreen again. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Steamy and wet at times today, but a cold front’s going to deliver a spectacular weekend," 6 July 2018 Don’t forget: wear sunscreen, drink water, and find some shade! Aubrey Nagle,, "Philly preps for the Fourth, Allentown Cadets march on | Morning Newsletter," 3 July 2018 The bill is opposed by various companies and business associations and even some dermatologists, who worry that the ban may discourage people from wearing sunscreen at all., "No more plastic straws in Seattle," 2 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of sunscreen

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sunscreen

Dictionary Entries near sunscreen







sunset clam

Statistics for sunscreen

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sunscreen

The first known use of sunscreen was in 1738

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on sunscreen

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!