shield 1 of 2


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How is the word shield different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of shield are defend, guard, protect, and safeguard. While all these words mean "to keep secure from danger or against attack," shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack.

shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand

When might defend be a better fit than shield?

Although the words defend and shield have much in common, defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack.

defend the country

When is it sensible to use guard instead of shield?

The words guard and shield can be used in similar contexts, but guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger.

White House entrances are well guarded

When would protect be a good substitute for shield?

The words protect and shield are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When could safeguard be used to replace shield?

While the synonyms safeguard and shield are close in meaning, safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger.

our civil liberties must be safeguarded

Thesaurus Entries Near shield

Cite this Entry

“Shield.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on shield

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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