n. & v.
n. 1 a fixed or movable upright partition for separating, concealing, or sheltering from draughts or excessive heat or light. 2 a thing used as a shelter, esp. from observation. 3 a a measure adopted for concealment. b the protection afforded by this (under the screen of night). 4 a a blank usu. white or silver surface on which a photographic image is projected. b (prec. by the) the cinema industry. 5 the surface of a cathode-ray tube or similar electronic device, esp. of a television, VDU, etc., on which images appear. 6 = sight-screen. 7 = WINDSCREEN. 8 a frame with fine wire netting to keep out flies, mosquitoes, etc. 9 Physics a body intercepting light, heat, electric or magnetic induction, etc., in a physical apparatus. 10 Photog. a piece of ground glass in a camera for focusing. 11 a large sieve or riddle, esp. for sorting grain, coal, etc., into sizes. 12 a system of checking for the presence or absence of a disease, ability, attribute, etc. 13 Printing a transparent finely-ruled plate or film used in half-tone reproduction. 14 Mil. a body of troops, ships, etc., detached to warn of the presence of an enemy force.
v.tr. 1 (often foll. by from) a afford shelter to; hide partly or completely. b protect from detection, censure, etc. 2 (foll. by off) shut off or hide behind a screen. 3 a show (a film etc.) on a screen. b broadcast (a television programme). 4 prevent from causing, or protect from, electrical interference. 5 a test (a person or group) for the presence or absence of a disease. b check on (a person) for the presence or absence of a quality, esp. reliability or loyalty. 6 pass (grain, coal, etc.) through a screen. screen printing a process like stencilling with ink forced through a prepared sheet of fine material (orig. silk). screen test an audition for a part in a cinema film. screenable adj. screener n.
[ ME f. ONF escren, escran: cf. OHG skrank barrier ]