Etymology: Middle English screne, from Anglo-French escren, from Middle Dutch scherm; akin to Old High German skirm shield; probably akin to Sanskrit carman skin, kṛnāti he injures — more at shear
Date: 14th century
1. a protective or ornamental device (as a movable partition) shielding an area from heat or drafts or from view
2. something that shelters, protects, or hides: as
a. a growth or stand of trees, shrubs, or plants
b. a protective formation of troops, ships, or planes
c. something that covers or disguises the true nature (as of an activity or feeling) <his geniality is just a screen> d. (1) a maneuver in various sports (as basketball or ice hockey) whereby an opponent is legally impeded or the opponent's view of the play is momentarily blocked (2) screen pass 3. a. a perforated plate or cylinder or a meshed wire or cloth fabric usually mounted and used to separate coarser from finer parts b. a system for examining and separating into different groups c. a piece of apparatus designed to prevent agencies in one part from affecting other parts <an optical screen> <an electric screen> d. a frame holding a usually metallic netting used especially in a window or door to exclude pests (as insects) 4. a. a flat surface on which a picture or series of pictures is projected or reflected b. the surface on which the image appears in an electronic display (as in a television set, radar receiver, or computer terminal); also the information displayed on a computer screen at one time 5. a glass plate ruled with crossing opaque lines through which an image is photographed in making a halftone 6. the motion-picture medium or industry II. verb Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to guard from injury or danger 2. a. to give shelter or protection to with or as if with a screen b. to separate with or as if with a screen; also to shield (an opponent) from a play or from view of a play 3. a. to pass (as coal, gravel, or ashes) through a screen to separate the fine part from the coarse; also to remove by a screen b. (1) to examine usually methodically in order to make a separation into different groups (2) to select or eliminate by a screening process (3) to test or examine for the presence of something (as a disease) <patients were screened for hepatitis> 4. to provide with a screen to keep out pests (as insects) 5. a. (1) to present (as a motion picture) for viewing on a screen (2) to view the presentation of (as a motion picture) b. to present in a motion picture intransitive verb 1. to appear on a motion-picture screen 2. to provide a screen in a game or sport Synonyms: see hide • screenable adjective • screener noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.