Neoclassical screen, circa 1786



  • A physical divider intended to block an area from view, or provide shelter from something dangerous.
  • A material woven from fine wires intended to block animals or large particles from passing while allowing gasses, liquids and finer particles to pass.
  • Searching through a sample for a target; an act of screening
  • An erection of white canvas or wood placed on the boundary opposite a batsman to make the ball more easily visible.
  • A collection of less-valuable vessels that travel with a more valuable one for the latter's protection.
  • 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, etc.
  • A large scarf.


  • To filter by passing through a screen.
  • To shelter or conceal.
  • To remove information, or censor intellectual material from viewing. To hide the facts.
  • To present publicly (on the screen).
  • To fit with a screen.
  • To examine patients or treat a sample in order to detect a chemical or a disease, or to assess susceptibility to a disease.
  • To search chemical libraries by means of a computational technique in order to identify chemical compounds which would potentially bind to a given biological target such as a protein.
  • To stand so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
  • To determine the source or subject matter of a call before deciding whether to answer the phone.


Narrower meaning words


  • From Middle English scren, screne, from Anglo-Norman escren ("firescreen, the tester of a bed"), Old French escren, escrein, escran (modern French √©cran ("screen")), from Middle Dutch scherm, from Old Dutch *skirm, from Proto-West Germanic *skirmi, from Proto-Germanic *skirmiz ("fur, shelter, covering, screen"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- ("to cut, divide"). Cognate with Dutch scherm ("screen"), German Schirm ("screen"). scherm.
  • An alternative etymology derives Old French escren from Old Dutch *skrank ("barrier") (compare German Schrank ("cupboard"), Schranke.

Modern English dictionary

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