Meaning of SHIELD in English


I. ˈshē(ə)ld noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English sheld, shild, from Old English scield, sceld, scyld, scild; akin to Old High German scilt shield, Old Norse skjöldr, Gothic skildus shield, Old English sciell shell — more at shell


a. : a broad piece of defensive armor (as of metal, wood, or leather) carried on the arm or held in the hand by a handle and formerly in general use for the protection of the body (as from spears, arrows, or sword thrusts) in battle or individual combat

b. : a means or method of defense

a fighter shield for their war industries — Manchester Guardian Weekly

understanding … that the haughtiness was a shield — Anne D. Sedgwick

c. : the field on which the bearings in coats of arms are placed : escutcheon

2. : a structure, device, or part that serves as a protective cover or barrier: as

a. : the hard horny skin of a boar's flank or neck

b. : a protective structure on an animal (as a large scale, carapace, or lorica) ; usually : any of the large scales on the head of a snake or lizard or the horny plates of a turtle's shell

c. : an iron or steel framework moved forward at the end of a tunnel or adit in process of excavation to support the ground ahead of the concrete, cast iron, brickwork, or other lining

d. : a screen of armor plate usually attached to a gun carriage to protect an otherwise exposed gun against small-arm or light-caliber projectiles or shrapnel

e. : cultivator shield

f. : the Precambrian nuclear mass of a continent around which and to some extent upon which the younger sedimentary rocks have been deposited

the Canadian shield … centers in Hudson Bay — C.O.Dunbar

— compare craton

g. : a fixture or attachment placed over moving parts of machinery to protect attendants or others from injury

h. : a shaped piece of often rubberized cloth that is worn inside or over a part of a garment (as the underarm of a dress or blouse) liable to be soiled by perspiration


(1) : a screen or device that protects electrical apparatus from being affected by outside electrostatic or magnetic influences

(2) : a wall, screen, housing, or other device that protects against radiation

a lead shield

3. : something that has the shape of a shield or is thought to resemble a shield: as


(1) : apothecium

(2) : one of the eight wall cells of the antheridium of a stonewort

b. : a bodily marking or otherwise differentiated area of an animal resembling a shield

c. : a policeman's badge

turned in his shield and applied for retirement

d. : a decorative or identifying emblem (as of a state, club, or organization)

these cars will carry no state shield — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English shelden, shilden, from Old English scieldan, scildan, scyldan, from scield, sceld, scyld, scild, n.

transitive verb


a. : to protect with or as if with a shield : give cover to : defend

shielding his eyes from the light — John Seago

have your work to retire into, your ideas to shield you — Aldous Huxley

b. : to cut off from observation : conceal , hide

usually work in gangs, clustering about exhibits in such a manner as to shield their activities — Irish Digest

the act of concealment and the reasons for it are themselves shielded from public observation — J.G.Palfrey

2. obsolete : avert , forbid — used in the phrase God shield

God shield I should disturb devotion — Shakespeare

3. : to ward off : keep off or out — often used with off

their own messes and own company to shield off loneliness — Time

intransitive verb

: to serve as a shield : defend , protect

a desire to shield and save — Lord Byron

Synonyms: see defend

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.