[ skreen ]
See synonyms for: screenscreenedscreening on

  1. a movable or fixed device, usually consisting of a covered frame, that provides shelter, serves as a partition, etc.

  2. a permanent, usually ornamental partition, as around the choir of a church or across the hall of a medieval house.

  1. a specially prepared, light-reflecting surface on which motion pictures, slides, etc., may be projected.

  2. Electronics. a surface on which electronically created images or text are displayed, as on a television, computer, mobile device, or radar receiver.

  3. Digital Technology. frame (def. 9).

  4. motion pictures collectively or the motion-picture industry.

  5. anything that shelters, protects, or conceals: a screen of secrecy; A screen of fog prevented our seeing the ship.

  6. a frame holding a mesh of wire, cloth, or plastic, for placing in a window or doorway, around a porch, etc., to admit air but exclude insects.

  7. a sieve, riddle, or other meshlike device used to separate smaller particles or objects from larger ones, as for grain or sand.

  8. a system for screening or grouping people, objects, etc.

  9. Military. a body of troops sent out to protect the movement of an army.

  10. Navy. a protective formation of small vessels, as destroyers, around or in front of a larger ship or ships.

  11. Physics. a shield designed to prevent interference between various agencies: electric screen.

  12. Electronics. screen grid.

  13. Photography. a plate of ground glass or the like on which the image is brought into focus in a camera before being photographed.

  14. Photoengraving. a transparent plate containing two sets of fine parallel lines, one crossing the other, used in the halftone process.

  15. Sports.

    • any of various offensive plays in which teammates form a protective formation around the ball carrier, pass receiver, shooter, etc.

    • any of various defensive plays in which teammates conceal or block an opposing ball carrier, pass receiver, shooter, or the goal, basket, net, etc., itself.

verb (used with object)
  1. to shelter, protect, or conceal with or as if with a screen.

  2. to select, reject, consider, or group (people, objects, ideas, etc.) by examining systematically: Job applicants were screened by the personnel department.

  1. to provide with a screen or screens to exclude insects: He screened the porch so they could enjoy sitting out on summer evenings.

  2. to sift or sort by passing through a screen.

  3. to project (a motion picture, slide, etc.) on a screen.

  4. Movies.

    • to show (a motion picture), especially to an invited audience, as of exhibitors and critics.

    • to photograph with a motion-picture camera; film.

    • to adapt (a story, play, etc.) for presentation as a motion picture.

  5. to lighten (type or areas of a line engraving) by etching a regular pattern of dots or lines into the printing surface.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be projected on a motion-picture screen.

Origin of screen

1350–1400; Middle English screne (noun) <Anglo-French; Old French escren (French écran) <Frankish *skrank, cognate with Old High German scrank barrier (German Schrank cupboard)

synonym study For screen

7. See cover.

Other words for screen

Other words from screen

  • screen·a·ble, adjective
  • screener, noun
  • screenless, adjective
  • screenlike, adjective
  • re·screen, verb (used with object)
  • su·per·screen, noun, adjective
  • un·screen·a·ble, adjective
  • un·screened, adjective
  • well-screened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use screen in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for screen


/ (skriːn) /

  1. a light movable frame, panel, or partition serving to shelter, divide, hide, etc

  2. anything that serves to shelter, protect, or conceal

  1. a frame containing a mesh that is placed over a window or opening to keep out insects

  2. a decorated partition, esp in a church around the choir: See also rood (def. 1)

  3. a sieve

  4. a system for selecting people, such as candidates for a job

  5. the wide end of a cathode-ray tube, esp in a television set, on which a visible image is formed

  6. a white or silvered surface, usually fabric, placed in front of a projector to receive the enlarged image of a film or of slides

  7. the screen the film industry or films collectively

  8. photog a plate of ground glass in some types of camera on which the image of a subject is focused before being photographed

  9. printing a glass marked with fine intersecting lines, used in a camera for making half-tone reproductions

  10. men or ships deployed around and ahead of a larger military formation to warn of attack or protect from a specific threat

  11. sport, mainly US and Canadian a tactical ploy in which a player blocks an opponent's view

  12. psychoanal anything that prevents a person from realizing his true feelings about someone or something

  13. electronics See screen grid

  1. (sometimes foll by off) to shelter, protect, or conceal

  2. to sieve or sort

  1. to test or check (an individual or group) so as to determine suitability for a task, etc

  2. to examine for the presence of a disease, weapons, etc: the authorities screened five hundred cholera suspects

  3. to provide with a screen or screens

  4. to project (a film) onto a screen, esp for public viewing

  5. (intr) to be shown at a cinema or on the television

  6. printing to photograph (a picture) through a screen to render it suitable for half-tone reproduction

  7. sport, mainly US and Canadian to block the view of (an opposing player)

Origin of screen

C15: from Old French escren (French écran); related to Old High German skrank, German Schrank cupboard

Derived forms of screen

  • screenable, adjective
  • screener, noun
  • screenful, noun
  • screenlike, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for screen


[ skrēn ]

  1. The surface on which an image is displayed, as on a television, computer monitor, or radar receiver.

  2. An electrode placed between the plate (anode) and the control grid in a tetrode valve, used to reduce the capacitance between the grid and the plate, increasing its ability to respond to high frequencies, especially radio frequencies.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.