Definition of shield in English:

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Pronunciation: /SHēld/


1A broad piece of metal or another suitable material, held by straps or a handle attached on one side, used as a protection against blows or missiles.
Example sentences
  • Patrick whipped out his new shield and the shield defended against the blow.
  • The children are also learning to march like a tortoise as the Romans did, with shields at their side and on top.
  • Doune then caught a heavy blow to his left side, his shield blunting the force of the blow, but stumbled backwards and fell onto his back.
Heraldry  escutcheon
historical buckler, target
2Something shaped like a shield, in particular.
2.1A police officer’s badge.
Example sentences
  • And I will carry this: It is the police shield of a man named George Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.
  • Somebody's in the uniform where they had a badge, or a shield.
2.2 Heraldry A stylized representation of a shield used for displaying a coat of arms.
Example sentences
  • The Shire Hall at the castle, which contains one of the biggest displays of heraldic shields in the country, is world famous and 30 years ago staged the trial of the Birmingham Six.
  • The shield and crest are displayed on William Shakespeare's monument and on Susanna Hall's seal.
  • Upon the shield was the traditional animal, a large bore head with the royal house sword of battle behind it.
2.3 Geology A large rigid area of the earth’s crust, typically of Precambrian rock, that has been unaffected by later orogenic episodes, e.g., the Canadian Shield.
Example sentences
  • Their principal outcrops constitute the great Precambrian shields of continental crust upon which later formations were deposited.
  • The structural discontinuity between the shield and the horizontal lavas filling the embayment corresponds to the eroded scarps of the landslide.
  • Northern Finland is part of the Precambrian Fennoscandian shield.
3A person or thing providing protection: a protective coating of grease provides a shield against abrasive dirt
More example sentences
  • It was obvious that the protection provided by the shields was a poor exchange for lessened mobility.
  • Chinese fan history dates back to ancient times when feathers and leaves were utilized to provide shields from sunshine or were woven as tools for cooling.
  • Last year's unsung hero, Lee Carsley, provided a great shield for our back four.
protection, guard, defense, cover, screen, security, shelter, safeguard, protector
3.1A protective plate or screen on machinery or equipment.
Example sentences
  • Actually, this is a shield to prevent gas from blowing back in the shooter's face in the rare event of a failure of some kind.
  • These X-rays heated the interior of the bomb and the tamper; the shield prevented premature detonation of the fuel.
  • The design incorporates a shield which prevents the thumb safely and rear sight from robbing against the body.
3.2A device or material that prevents or reduces the emission of light or other radiation.
Example sentences
  • Signals are increased by antenna boosters and radiation exposure is reduced by radiation shields.
  • His work on the penetration of gamma rays published in 1953 in the Physical Review is used in the design of nuclear reactors and radiation shields: -
  • Lead radiation shields around concealed radioactive material would pop out on an X-ray.
3.3 short for dress shield.
3.4A hard flat or convex part of an animal, especially a shell.
Example sentences
  • The fusion of the cephalic segments is most obvious when a cephalic shield or carapace is present.
  • One photograph of an internal mold of the dorsal shield shows a ‘faint impression of the brain.’
  • The dorsal shield was pierced by a single, large, nostril-like opening situated in the middle of the head in front of the eyes.


[with object]
1Protect (someone or something) from a danger, risk, or unpleasant experience: he pulled the cap lower to shield his eyes from the glare these people have been completely shielded from economic forces
More example sentences
  • His sister lay beside the small girl, her arm draped protectively round her as if to try and shield her from the danger they were now in.
  • It's a thought that's particularly popular among those who are shielded from the risks that disruption always brings.
  • Astronauts in space are so shielded from ultraviolet light that their bodies can't produce enough Vitamin D.
1.1Prevent from being seen: the rocks she sat behind shielded her from the lodge
More example sentences
  • He can do all this and more, but only if he knows the truth and is not shielded behind a cocoon of manufactured perceptions.
  • When our hero passed, she could barely look him in the eye, she just shielded herself behind her sympathetic companions.
  • As I am sitting on the floor and shielded by the shelves it is basically impossible to see me from the creative room.
1.2Enclose or screen (a piece of machinery) to protect the user.
Example sentences
  • Therapeutic radiation is generally safe if the generator is shielded.
  • We shielded the electrochemical NO analyzer to prevent unblinding of nonrespiratory therapists.
protect, cover, screen, shade;
save, safeguard, preserve, defend, secure, guard;
cushion, insulate
1.3Prevent or reduce the escape of sound, light, or other radiation from (something): uranium shutters shield the cobalt radioactive source
More example sentences
  • None of the rooms are acoustically shielded, nor have sound transmission measurements been taken.
  • There is a new product launched recently in Germany which shields electromagnetic radiation.
  • Look for devices that produce as little UV light as possible at high intensity or that carefully shield the UV rays they produce.



Example sentences
  • Besides, with two maces you will be shieldless.
  • Otherwise you'll be left with a shieldless / sealless bearing (which won't last long against outdoor conditions).
  • The now shieldless Sestuan landed on the attacking ship and first tore through the missile pods that had shot him, hoping to hit something to ignite another explosion.


Old English scild (noun), scildan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schild and German Schild, from a base meaning 'divide, separate'.

Words that rhyme with shield

afield, field, midfield, misfield, unaneled, unconcealed, unhealed, unpeeled, unrevealed, unsealed, wield, yield

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: shield

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