verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to act or serve as a shield.

Nearby words

  1. shicker,
  2. shickered,
  3. shidduch,
  4. shied,
  5. shiel,
  6. shield back,
  7. shield bearer,
  8. shield bug,
  9. shield cricket,
  10. shield fern

Origin of shield

before 900; (noun) Middle English shelde, Old English sceld; cognate with Dutch, German Schild, Gothic skildus; (v.) Middle English shelden, Old English sceldan, scildan, derivative of the noun

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shield

British Dictionary definitions for shield



any protection used to intercept blows, missiles, etc, such as a tough piece of armour carried on the arm
any similar protective device
Also called: scutcheon, escutcheon heraldry a pointed stylized shield used for displaying armorial bearings
anything that resembles a shield in shape, such as a prize in a sports competition
the protective outer covering of an animal, such as the shell of a turtle
physics a structure of concrete, lead, etc, placed around a nuclear reactor or other source of radiation in order to prevent the escape of radiation
a broad stable plateau of ancient Precambrian rocks forming the rigid nucleus of a particular continentSee Baltic Shield, Canadian Shield
short for dress shield
civil engineering a hollow steel cylinder that protects men driving a circular tunnel through loose, soft, or water-bearing ground
the shield informal
  1. Australian short for the Sheffield Shield
  2. NZ short for the Ranfurly Shield


(tr) to protect, hide, or conceal (something) from danger or harm
Derived Formsshielder, nounshieldlike, adjective

Word Origin for shield

Old English scield; related to Old Norse skjöldr, Gothic skildus, Old High German scilt shield, Old English sciell shell

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

Word Origin and History for shield
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for shield




A protective device or structure, such as a lead sheet to protect an individual from x-rays.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for shield



A wall or housing of an absorbing material, such as concrete or lead, built around a nuclear reactor to prevent the escape of radiation.
A structure or arrangement of metal plates or mesh designed to protect a piece of electronic equipment from electrostatic or magnetic interference.
A large geographic area where rocks of a continent's craton (the ancient, relatively undisturbed portion of a continental plate) are visible at the surface. A shield is often surrounded by platforms covered with sediment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.