Pronunciation: (shēld), [key]
1. a broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows, etc.
2. a similar device, often of lightweight plastic, used by riot police to protect themselves from rocks and other thrown objects.
3. something shaped like a shield, variously round, octagonal, triangular, or somewhat heart-shaped.
4. a person or thing that protects.
5. a police officer's, detective's, or sheriff 's badge.
6. Ordn.a steel screen attached to a gun to protect its crew, mechanism, etc.
7. Mining.a movable framework for protecting a miner from cave-ins, etc.
8. Elect.a covering, usually made of metal, placed around an electric device or circuit in order to reduce the effects of external electric and magnetic fields.
9. Zool.a protective plate or the like on the body of an animal, as a scute, enlarged scale, etc.
10. See dress shield.
11. escutcheon, esp. one broad at the top and pointed at the bottom, for displaying armorial bearings.
12. (cap.) Astron.the constellation Scutum.
13. Geol.a vast area of ancient crustal rocks which, together with a platform, constitutes a craton.
14. a protective barrier against nuclear radiation, esp. a lead or concrete structure around a reactor.

1. to protect (someone or something) with or as if with a shield.
2. to serve as a protection for.
3. to hide or conceal; protect by hiding.
4. avert; forbid.

to act or serve as a shield.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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