Definition of shield in English:



  • 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.

    • ‘Catching a mercenary's outstretched torso with the broad surface of his shield, the Colonel hurled his adversary high overhead.’
    • ‘The children are also learning to march like a tortoise as the Romans did, with shields at their side and on top.’
    • ‘His old shield had taken many blows and was dented, so he replaced it with a buckler with red trim, a gold emblem at its center.’
    • ‘The savior's novice guard cape floated in the same direction as his hair and pants, and he unconsciously removed the new shield from its back straps.’
    • ‘Not only was he faster then she was, but he was armed whereas she only had her shield strapped around her right forearm.’
    • ‘Behind this barrier stood helmeted paramilitary police carrying riot shields and wearing body armor.’
    • ‘He snaked one arm through the shield's heavy carrying strap and shoved the gun into his waistband while he reached for the door.’
    • ‘Outside the wall, commandos beat truncheons against their shields and police dogs barked.’
    • ‘He feinted to her left, and as she moved her shield to catch the blow, changed the direction of his thrust and rammed his sword into her lower chest.’
    • ‘It parried the blow with its shield, and lashed out with its sword.’
    • ‘I barely had time to parry her first blow with the shield before she was coming around again, sword raised and teeth bared in a white grimace.’
    • ‘It was a force to be proud of: the unit was outfitted with state of the art weaponry, and each had a shield strapped on his back.’
    • ‘She managed a shaky grin, leaning heavily against the side of the shield.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were several hundred police officers armed with shields and batons.’
    • ‘His sword was sheathed at his side, and his shield was ready on his back.’
    • ‘Each of his soldiers was ordered to carry a cat on his shield, thus preventing the Egyptians, to whom the cat was sacred, from striking a blow.’
    • ‘Patrick whipped out his new shield and the shield defended against the blow.’
    • ‘Derryn dressed the same as he always had despite going into war, except for the horse he was on and the kite shield strapped around one arm.’
    • ‘The Guard braced their riot shields and checked their equipment.’
    buckler, target
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    1. 1.1 A sporting trophy shaped like a shield, consisting of an engraved metal plate mounted on a piece of wood.
      ‘team captain Ben Hall collected the winners' shield’
    2. 1.2 A police officer's badge.
      • ‘Somebody's in the uniform where they had a badge, or a shield.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3Heraldry A stylized representation of a shield used for displaying a coat of arms.
      • ‘There is evidence for both flat and curved kite shields, with the curved being most likely, and most having bosses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Two African leopards adorn the national emblem, a five-pointed white star on a light blue shield with a gold border.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A person or thing providing protection.

    ‘a protective coating of grease provides a shield against abrasive dirt’
    • ‘Last year's unsung hero, Lee Carsley, provided a great shield for our back four.’
    • ‘Sun-protective clothing provides a better shield than sunscreen since it never rubs off or requires reapplying.’
    • ‘The protective shield remains over your eye to protect it from injury.’
    • ‘How is this possible if the only shield protecting the people against a fate worse than death is to have the reformists, no matter how incompetent, sit in power positions?’
    • ‘As a consequence, this cultural connectedness provides a shield from the emotional invective that results from living in a racist society.’
    • ‘He sells the bamboo to supplement his income and provide a natural shield for his small coffee plantation.’
    • ‘It's like Mother Nature provided us with a shield from the outside world.’
    • ‘My grandmother was a strong woman, she was my guardian, my protector, my shield against those who would wish to see me fail and I thank her for loving me above all others.’
    • ‘With Richard Cooper providing the defensive shield, Bullock was able to get forward more often and always looked a danger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Masks, face shields, protective eyewear or water-impermeable gowns may be worn as warranted by the circumstances.’
    • ‘Since the middle of the twentieth century the United States has provided a nuclear shield to its allies.’
    • ‘Under the protective shield provided by the central bank, the US financial system has became tilted toward relentless expansion.’
    • ‘A polite tongue provided a shield of tactful silence and banal pleasantries that staved off needless provocation and harm.’
    • ‘The tank provides a shield for the infantry as well as increased firepower and shock effect.’
    • ‘On occasion, I suspect her of using the subject of John, which is safe because everything's been said, as a shield to protect herself from scrutiny.’
    • ‘These shields constitute walls to protect information or feelings I may not want to share.’
    • ‘It was obvious that the protection provided by the shields was a poor exchange for lessened mobility.’
    • ‘The commission's foot-dragging has provided a convenient shield from corporate responsibility.’
    • ‘The jungle itself held many dangers, but it's leafy boughs of the canopy high above provided a protective shield from wind, rain and even sun.’
    protection, guard, defence, cover, screen, shade, safety, security, shelter, safeguard, support, bulwark, protector
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    1. 2.1 A protective plate or screen on machinery or equipment.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2 A device or material that prevents or reduces the emission of light or other radiation.
      • ‘You might be positioned with molds to hold you in place and with shields to block radiation from reaching certain parts of your body.’
      • ‘He thought about the radiation shield being completed for the Canadian region.’
      • ‘Temporary portable radiation shields are activated within key areas of his ship.’
      • ‘Signals are increased by antenna boosters and radiation exposure is reduced by radiation shields.’
      • ‘In space, only shields to exclude radiation are required to attain the same low temperatures throughout a large volume.’
      • ‘X-ray tubes are encased in lead shields and fully protected and equipment is regularly calibrated.’
      • ‘The site belonged to a virtual marketing company that sold radiation shields for mobile phones before ceasing trading last month.’
      • ‘In contrast, the shield blocks the sensor from receiving light from the light generator when the shield is in the second position.’
      • ‘They would have to take the shield out during that radiation wave.’
      • ‘The radiation shield was completed except for the electron coupler wires.’
      • ‘Other applications include radiation shields and x-ray targets.’
      • ‘Between its magnetic fields and the atmosphere, the world has a pretty good shield from harmful radiation.’
      • ‘Lead radiation shields around concealed radioactive material would pop out on an X-ray.’
      • ‘If you're considering packing a gas mask for your next flight, better throw in a radiation shield too.’
      • ‘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: -’
      • ‘That is how she amassed a following demanding the radiation shields be decommissioned.’
      • ‘The lying fox had known how to build the radiation shield, or at least had most of it figured out.’
      • ‘The oven has shields built in to reduce the impact of the radiation.’
      • ‘She tried to use the software to find a way to place five radiation shields over each patient's body, instead of four.’
      • ‘There is no ozone layer, which on Earth functions as a critical shield from deadly doses of ultraviolet radiation.’
    3. 2.3
      short for dress shield
    4. 2.4 A hard flat or convex part of an animal, especially a shell.
      • ‘The fusion of the cephalic segments is most obvious when a cephalic shield or carapace is present.’
      • ‘Naupli have a cephalic shield or the beginnings of the dorsal carapace, and no segmentation on the trunk.’
      • ‘The top of the head is always covered by a shield of keratin-covered scutes, and the tail is covered by bony rings.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3Geology
    A large rigid area of the earth's crust, typically of Precambrian rock, which has been unaffected by later orogenic episodes, e.g. the Canadian Shield.

    • ‘Northern Finland is part of the Precambrian Fennoscandian shield.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The shield and postshield stages are separated by a major structural discontinuity.’
    • ‘The northern part of the shield is truncated by a 10 km wide embayment, open to the north and filled by postshield volcanism.’


  • 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’
    • ‘No attempt was made to shield animals from natural or artificial light other than between the time of drug injection and laser illumination.’
    • ‘The ozone layer shields life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The wrapping had come off his eyes but he still had to wear dark glasses to shield them from bright lights.’
    • ‘The plants were subsequently shielded from photoreactivating blue light for 3 days and then placed in the growth chamber.’
    • ‘Unlike Washington, Jefferson did not shield himself behind an impenetrable visage.’
    • ‘We sit tucked away under the handkerchief-sized canopy, shielding our fair Scottish skin from the scorching sun.’
    • ‘The consultant considered that one of the main tourist attractions, Bali's unique culture, must be preserved and shielded from an influx of negative tourist influences.’
    • ‘They ran towards the light, shielding their eyes as they ran.’
    • ‘The winds, from which we had been somewhat shielded when we were behind the superstructure, began to churn the helicopter with new ferocity.’
    • ‘The entire imaging set-up was covered by dark foil to shield the root from light, which could interfere with root growth.’
    • ‘In winter he wrapped himself in his robe, used his stole as a hood, and sat while the bamboo leaves shielded him from the wind.’
    • ‘Astronauts in space are so shielded from ultraviolet light that their bodies can't produce enough Vitamin D.’
    • ‘The hall has to be huge because these collisions produce intense radiation, so all the equipment is heavily shielded.’
    • ‘Shoring up vertical trench walls and shielding workers from cave-ins are more than just sound excavating safety practices.’
    • ‘Uranium was used to shield tanks against attack by conventional armour-piercing weapons.’
    • ‘When St David's lifeboat arrived the ferry lit up the fishing vessel with powerful lights and shielded it from the fierce northerly winds while the three crew members were rescued.’
    • ‘These two polysaccharides shielded S. aureus, preventing the white blood cells of the immune system from recognizing it and targeting it for destruction.’
    • ‘The sides of beakers were shielded against light with a layer of black photographic paper and with an outer layer of aluminium foil.’
    1. 1.1 Prevent from being seen.
      ‘the rocks she sat behind shielded her from the lodge’
      • ‘He was able to dodge her long enough to make his way to the edge of the forest and darted into the trees, hiding behind one large enough to shield him from view.’
      • ‘When our hero passed, she could barely look him in the eye, she just shielded herself behind her sympathetic companions.’
      • ‘We were shown to a large glass dining table and a bamboo screen was placed around us to shield us.’
      • ‘He can do all this and more, but only if he knows the truth and is not shielded behind a cocoon of manufactured perceptions.’
      • ‘I sit now at a table in the back, shielded from view by a large group of eyebrow-ringed art students and chess players.’
      • ‘It was a place of money and old houses, and each house was set deep back behind a large front lot and shielded by trees.’
      • ‘She said that in West Yorkshire victims could be shielded from defendants in court by screens and sometimes they could give their evidence from another room in the court building by video link.’
      • ‘An iron door opens to a simple, calm seating area, shielded behind a straight-lined wall screen.’
      • ‘Until the memo surfaces, most opponents prefer behind-the-scenes warfare largely shielded from public view.’
      • ‘As I am sitting on the floor and shielded by the shelves it is basically impossible to see me from the creative room.’
      • ‘Eager whispers followed his every step as he paced restlessly down the cream and burgundy corridors, glowing eyes shielded behind his dark glasses.’
      • ‘Someone was running behind her, very closely, shielded from her sight by a hooded jacket.’
      • ‘We chose to sit beneath a willow tree with its branches shielding us from view.’
      • ‘With an intense look and his eyes shielded behind wraparound shades, he is, at first, extremely intimidating.’
    2. 1.2 Enclose or screen (a piece of machinery) to protect the user.
      • ‘Therapeutic radiation is generally safe if the generator is shielded.’
      • ‘We shielded the electrochemical NO analyzer to prevent unblinding of nonrespiratory therapists.’
      protect, keep safe, cover, screen, shade, keep from harm, afford protection to, provide protection for, save, safeguard, wrap, preserve, conserve, defend, cushion, secure, guard, inoculate, insulate
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    3. 1.3 Prevent or reduce the escape of sound, light, or other radiation from (something)
      ‘uranium shutters shield the cobalt radioactive source’
      • ‘This refers to efforts to strive to prevent disputes, while shielding the weak from oppression, famine, poverty and other tragedies.’
      • ‘None of the rooms are acoustically shielded, nor have sound transmission measurements been taken.’
      • ‘Look for devices that produce as little UV light as possible at high intensity or that carefully shield the UV rays they produce.’
      • ‘To prevent leakage of radiation while the accelerators are in operation, they are shielded.’
      • ‘There is a new product launched recently in Germany which shields electromagnetic radiation.’


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