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

  • n. A movable device, especially a framed construction such as a room divider or a decorative panel, designed to divide, conceal, or protect.
  • n. One that serves to protect, conceal, or divide: Security guards formed a screen around the President. A screen of evergreens afforded privacy from our neighbors.
  • n. A coarse sieve used for sifting out fine particles, as of sand, gravel, or coal.
  • n. A system for preliminary appraisal and selection of personnel as to their suitability for particular jobs.
  • n. A window or door insertion of framed wire or plastic mesh used to keep out insects and permit air flow.
  • n. The white or silver surface on which a picture is projected for viewing.
  • n. The movie industry: a star of stage and screen. Also called silver screen.
  • n. Electronics The phosphorescent surface on which an image is displayed, as on a television, computer monitor, or radar receiver.
  • n. Computer Science The information or image displayed at a given time on such a computer monitor: printing a hard copy of the screen.
  • n. Electronics The electrode placed between the anode and the control grid in a tetrode valve. Also called screen grid.
  • n. Printing A glass plate marked off with crossing lines, placed before the lens of a camera when photographing for halftone reproduction.
  • n. A body of troops or ships sent in advance of or surrounding a larger body to protect or warn of attack.
  • n. Sports A block, set with the body, that impedes the vision or movement of an opponent.
  • n. Football A screen pass.
  • transitive v. To provide with a screen: screen a porch.
  • transitive v. To conceal from view with or as if with a screen. See Synonyms at block, hide1.
  • transitive v. To protect, guard, or shield.
  • transitive v. To separate or sift out (fine particles of sand, for example) by means of a sieve or screen.
  • transitive v. To show or project (a movie, for example) on a screen.
  • transitive v. To examine (a job applicant, for example) systematically in order to determine suitability.
  • transitive v. To test or evaluate (a student) to determine placement in an educational system or to identify specific learning needs.
  • transitive v. To test or examine for the presence of disease or infection: screen blood; screen a patient.
  • transitive v. To subject to genetic screening.
  • transitive v. Sports To block the vision or movement of (an opponent) with the body.
  • transitive v. Sports To obscure an opponent's view of (a shot) by positioning oneself between the opponent and the shooter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A physical divider intended to block an area from view.
  • n. A material woven from fine wires intended to block animals or large particles from passing while allowing gasses, liquids and finer particles to pass.
  • n. The informational viewing area of electronic output devices; the result of the output.
  • n. The viewing area of a movie, or moving picture or slide presentation
  • n. An offensive tactic in which a player stands so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
  • n. The protective netting which protects the audience from flying objects
  • n. In mining and quarries, a frame supporting a mesh of bars or wires used to classify fragments of stone by size, allowing the passage of fragments whose a diameter is smaller than the distance between the bars or wires.
  • n. A stencil upon a framed mesh through which paint is forced onto printed-on material; the frame with the mesh itself.
  • n. A collection of less-valuable vessels that travel with a more valuable one for the latter's protection.
  • v. To filter by passing through a screen.
  • v. To remove information, or censor intellectual material from viewing
  • v. To present publicly (on the screen).
  • v. To fit with a screen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Anything that separates or cuts off inconvenience, injury, or danger; that which shelters or conceals from view; a shield or protection.
  • n. A dwarf wall or partition carried up to a certain height for separation and protection, as in a church, to separate the aisle from the choir, or the like.
  • n. A surface, as that afforded by a curtain, sheet, wall, etc., upon which an image, as a picture, is thrown by a magic lantern, solar microscope, etc.
  • n. A long, coarse riddle or sieve, sometimes a revolving perforated cylinder, used to separate the coarser from the finer parts, as of coal, sand, gravel, and the like.
  • n. An erection of white canvas or wood placed on the boundary opposite a batsman to enable him to see ball better.
  • n. a netting, usu. of metal, contained in a frame, used mostly in windows or doors to allow in fresh air while excluding insects.
  • n. The surface of an electronic device, as a television set or computer monitor, on which a visible image is formed. The screen is frequently the surface of a cathode-ray tube containing phosphors excited by the electron beam, but other methods for causing an image to appear on the screen are also used, as in flat-panel displays.
  • n. The motion-picture industry; motion pictures.
  • transitive v. To provide with a shelter or means of concealment; to separate or cut off from inconvenience, injury, or danger; to shelter; to protect; to protect by hiding; to conceal.
  • transitive v. To pass, as coal, gravel, ashes, etc., through a screen in order to separate the coarse from the fine, or the worthless from the valuable; to sift.
  • transitive v. to examine a group of objects methodically, to separate them into groups or to select one or more for some purpose.
  • transitive v. To inspect the qualifications of candidates for a job, to select one or more to be hired.
  • transitive v. to test a large number of samples, in order to find those having specific desirable properties.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shelter or protect from inconvenience, injury, danger, or observation; cover; conceal.
  • To sift or riddle by passing through a screen: as, to screen coal.
  • Synonyms To defend, hide, mask, cloak, shroud.
  • n. A covered framework, partition, or curtain, either movable or fixed, which serves to protect from the heat of the sun or of a fire, from rain, wind, or cold, or from other inconvenience or danger, or to shelter from observation, conceal, shut off the view, or secure privacy: as, a fire-screen; a folding screen; a window-screen, etc.; hence, such a covered framework, curtain, etc., used for some other purpose: as, a screen upon which images may be cast by a magic lantern; in general, any shelter or means of concealment.
  • n. Specifically, in architecture:
  • n. An ornamental partition of wood, stone, or metal, usually so placed in a church or other building as to shut out an aisle from the choir, a private chapel from a transept, the nave from the choir, the high altar from the east end, an altar-tomb from a public passage, or to fill any similar purpose. See perclose, and cut under organ-screen.
  • n. In some medieval and similar halls, a partition extending across the lower end, forming a lobby within the main entrance-doors, and having ofteu a gallery above.
  • n. An architecturally decorated wall inclosing a courtyard or the like. Such a feature as the entire facade of a church may be considered as a screen when it does not correspond with the interior structure, as is commonly the case in Italian and frequent in English churches, but is merely a decorative mask for the building behind it. See cut under reredos.
  • n. A kind of riddle or sieve.
  • n. A large scarf forming a kind of plaid.
  • n. A screen supported on cross-rails, feet, or the like, enabling it to stand firmly, and with hinged flaps which when opened increase its width.
  • n.
  • n.
  • n. A transparent plate having ruled upon its surface lines, parallel or crossed, placed immediately in front of the sensitive plate in the manufacture of a half-tone negative, in order to break up the shadows by diffraction.

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

  • v. project onto a screen for viewing
  • n. partition consisting of a decorative frame or panel that serves to divide a space
  • v. examine in order to test suitability
  • n. a covering that serves to conceal or shelter something
  • n. a white or silvered surface where pictures can be projected for viewing
  • n. the display that is electronically created on the surface of the large end of a cathode-ray tube
  • v. test or examine for the presence of disease or infection
  • n. a strainer for separating lumps from powdered material or grading particles
  • n. a protective covering consisting of netting; can be mounted in a frame
  • v. separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
  • n. a protective covering that keeps things out or hinders sight
  • v. prevent from entering
  • n. the personnel of the film industry
  • v. protect, hide, or conceal from danger or harm
  • v. examine methodically
  • n. a door that consists of a frame holding metallic or plastic netting; used to allow ventilation and to keep insects from entering a building through the open door


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

Middle English screne, from Old North French escren, from Middle Dutch scherm, shield, screen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English scren, screne ("windscreen, firescreen"), from Anglo-Norman escren ("firescreen, the tester of a bed"), Old French escren, escrein, escran (modern French écran ("screen")), from Old Dutch *scerm, skirm ("screen"), from Proto-Germanic *skirmiz (“fur, shelter, screen”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to cut, divide”). Cognate with Dutch scherm ("screen"), German Schirm ("screen").



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  • Contronymic in the sense: to show vs. to hide.

    January 31, 2007