Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A broad piece of armor made of rigid material and strapped to the arm or carried in the hand for protection against hurled or thrusted weapons.
  • n. A person or thing that provides protection.
  • n. A protective device or structure, as:
  • n. A steel sheet attached to an artillery piece to protect gunners from small-arms fire and shrapnel.
  • n. Physics A wall or housing of concrete or lead built around a nuclear reactor to prevent the escape of radiation.
  • n. Electronics A structure or arrangement of metal plates or mesh designed to protect a piece of electronic equipment from electrostatic or magnetic interference.
  • n. A pad worn, as at the armpits, to protect a garment from perspiration.
  • n. A sanitary napkin.
  • n. Zoology A protective plate or similar hard outer covering; a scute or scutellum.
  • n. Something that resembles a shield, as:
  • n. An escutcheon.
  • n. A decorative emblem that often serves to identify an organization or a government.
  • n. A police officer's badge.
  • n. Geology The ancient, stable, interior layer of continents composed of primarily Precambrian igneous or metamorphic rocks. Also called continental shield.
  • transitive v. To protect or defend with or as if with a shield; guard. See Synonyms at defend.
  • transitive v. To cover up; conceal.
  • intransitive v. To act or serve as a shield or safeguard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A broad piece of defensive armor, carried on the arm, formerly in general use in war, for the protection of the body.
  • n. Anything which protects or defends; defense; shelter; protection.
  • n. Figuratively, one who protects or defends.
  • n. In lichens, a hardened cup or disk surrounded by a rim and containing the fructification, or asci.
  • n. The escutcheon or field on which are placed the bearings in coats of arms.
  • n. A large expanse of exposed stable Precambrian rock.
  • n. A framework used to protect workmen in making an adit under ground, and capable of being pushed along as excavation progresses.
  • n. A spot resembling, or having the form of a shield.
  • n. A coin, the old French crown, or écu, having on one side the figure of a shield.
  • n. A field of energy which protects or defends.
  • n. A police badge.
  • n. A sign or symbol, usually containing numbers and sometimes letters, identifying a highway route.
  • v. To protect, to defend.
  • v. to protect from the influence of

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A broad piece of defensive armor, carried on the arm, -- formerly in general use in war, for the protection of the body. See buckler.
  • n. Anything which protects or defends; defense; shelter; protection.
  • n. Figuratively, one who protects or defends.
  • n. In lichens, a Hardened cup or disk surrounded by a rim and containing the fructification, or asci.
  • n. The escutcheon or field on which are placed the bearings in coats of arms. Cf. Lozenge. See Illust. of Escutcheon.
  • n. A framework used to protect workmen in making an adit under ground, and capable of being pushed along as excavation progresses.
  • n. A spot resembling, or having the form of, a shield.
  • n. A coin, the old French crown, or écu, having on one side the figure of a shield.
  • transitive v. To cover with, or as with, a shield; to cover from danger; to defend; to protect from assault or injury.
  • transitive v. To ward off; to keep off or out.
  • transitive v. To avert, as a misfortune; hence, as a supplicatory exclamation, forbid!

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A frame or rounded plate made of wood, metal, hide, or leather, carried by warriors on the arm or in the hand, as a defense, from remote antiquity until the perfection of firearms rendered it more an encumbrance than a safeguard, and by savage peoples to the present day.
  • Anything that protects or is used as a protection.
  • A fender-plate attached to the share of a corn-plow to prevent clods from rolling on to the young plants.
  • In zoology:
  • A protective or defensive plate, buckler, or cuirass, of some determinate size, shape, or position; a scute, scutum, or scutellum; a lorica; a carapace: as, the shields or bucklers of a ganoid fish; the shields of a turtle, an armadillo, etc. See cuts under carapace, leaf-roller, scale, armadillo, and coluber.
  • Some part, place, or mark likened to a shield; a thyroid formation. See cut under larynx.
  • In dressmaking, a piece or strip of some repellent fabric used to protect a dress from mud, perspiration, etc.: as, a skirt-shield; an arm-shield.
  • Figuratively, a shelter, protection, or defense; a bulwark.
  • In botany, any flat, buckler-like body that is fixed by a stalk or pedicel from some part of the under surface, as the apothecium in certain lichens. (See apothecium.)
  • In heraldry:
  • The shield-shaped escutcheon used for all displays of arms, except when borne by women and sometimes by clergymen. See escutcheon and lozenge.
  • A bearing representing a knightly shield.
  • A French crown (in French, écu), so called from its having on one side the figure of a shield.
  • The semi-transparent skin of the sides of a boar-pig, which is of considerable thickness, affording shield-like protection against the attacks of an adversary: apparently used formerly to furnish a shield for burlesque or mimic contests.
  • A breed of domestic pigeons, of which there are four varieties, black, red, blue, and silver.
  • More properly, a mantlet or wooden bulwark for crossbowmen and the like.
  • To protect, defend, or shelter from danger, calamity, distress, annoyance, or the like: as, to shield one from attack; to shield one from the sun; to shield a criminal.
  • To ward off.
  • To forfend; forbid; avert.
  • To act or serve as a shield; be a shelter or protection.
  • n.
  • n. A guard placed over or in front of rapidly moving machinery, especially over cutters such as saws and planes, to protect the workmen from accidents.
  • n. A guard placed around belting where it passes through a floor, or around gears to prevent clothing of workmen or passers-by from becoming entangled
  • n. A covering over bearings and shafts of grinding machinery to keep grit and dust from working into the contact-surfaces.
  • n. A guard placed on an exposed shaft, and turning loosely with it, to prevent injury from accidental contact with the revolving mass.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a protective covering or structure
  • v. hold back a thought or feeling about
  • n. hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles
  • n. armor carried on the arm to intercept blows
  • v. protect, hide, or conceal from danger or harm

Etymologies

Middle English sheld, from Old English scield.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English shelde, from Old English scield ("shield"), from Proto-Germanic *skelduz (“shield”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keit-, *(s)keid-, *kheit- (“shield, cover”). Cognate with Dutch schild ("shield"), German Schild ("shield"), Danish skjold ("shield"), Icelandic skjöldur ("shield"), Latin scūtum ("shield"), Irish sciath ("shield"), Latgalian škīda ("shield"), Lithuanian skydas ("shield"). (Wiktionary)
From Old English scieldan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "7. In dressmaking, a piece or strip of some repellent fabric used to protect a dress from mud, perspiration, etc.: as, a skirt-shield; an arm-shield."

    --Century Dictionary

    February 16, 2011

  • Shields have been made of various materials, as metal, wood, wickerwork covered with skins or leather, etc. The form has varied greatly in different periods and countries; the principal types are (1) the circular shield, usually convex in front, with a boss in the center; (2) the oblong shield, either flat, or, more commonly, having the form of a portion of a cylinder; and (3) the shield with curved sides tapering to a point at the lower end, which was the prevailing form in Europe during the Middle Ages.
    In the Middle Ages the ‘armorial bearings’ of a knight were depicted on his shield, and decorated shields, made for display and not for warlike use, were often hung on walls in churches or other buildings as a memorial of a knight or noble. In heraldry, syn. with escutcheon.
    Citation: Oxford English Dictionary online edition.

    February 5, 2007