See also: Screen


Inflatable screen (AIRSCREEN) in Granada.


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, from Proto-West Germanic *skirmi (fur, shelter, screen), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to cut, divide). Cognate with Dutch scherm (screen), German Schirm (screen).

Alternate etymology derives Old French escren from Old Dutch *skrank (barrier) (compare German Schrank (cupboard), Schranke (fence).[1]


  • enPR: skrēn, IPA(key): /skɹiːn/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːn


screen (plural screens)

  1. A physical divider intended to block an area from view, or provide shelter from something dangerous.
    a fire screen
  2. A material woven from fine wires intended to block animals or large particles from passing while allowing gasses, liquids and finer particles to pass.
    1. (mining, quarrying) 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.
  3. The informational viewing area of electronic devices, where output is displayed.
    • 1977, Sex Pistols, Spunk, “Problems” (song):
      You won't find me living for the screen [] I ain't equipment I ain't automatic
  4. The viewing surface or area of a movie, or moving picture or slide presentation.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      The stories did not seem to me to touch life. [] They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like as the shadows on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the mercy of the operator.
  5. One of the individual regions of a video game, etc. divided into separate screens.
    • 1988, Marcus Berkmann, Sophistry (video game review) in Your Sinclair issue 30, June 1988
      The idea is to reach the 21st level of an enormous network of interlocking screens, each of which is covered with blocks that you bounce along on.
    • 1989, Compute (volume 11, page 51)
      Bub and Bob, the brontosaur buddies, must battle bullies by bursting their bubbles. One or two players can move through 100 screens of arcade-style graphics.
  6. (computing) The visualised data or imagery displayed on a computer screen.
    After you turn on the computer, the login screen appears.
  7. (basketball) An offensive tactic in which a player stands so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
    Synonym: pick
  8. (baseball) The protective netting which protects the audience from flying objects
    Jones caught the foul up against the screen.
  9. (cricket) An erection of white canvas or wood placed on the boundary opposite a batsman to make the ball more easily visible.
  10. (printing) A stencil upon a framed mesh through which paint is forced onto printed-on material; the frame with the mesh itself.
  11. (nautical) A collection of less-valuable vessels that travel with a more valuable one for the latter's protection.
  12. (architecture) 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.
  13. (genetics) A technique used to identify genes so as to study gene functions.
  14. (Scotland, archaic) A large scarf.


Hyponyms of screen (noun)

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from screen (noun)

Related termsEdit

Related terms of screen (noun)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. ^ Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, s.v. "screen" (NY: Gramercy Books, 1996), 1721.


screen (third-person singular simple present screens, present participle screening, simple past and past participle screened)

  1. To filter by passing through a screen.
    Mary screened the beans to remove the clumps of gravel.
  2. To shelter or conceal.
  3. To remove information, or censor intellectual material from viewing.
    The news report was screened because it accused the politician of wrongdoing.
  4. (film, television) To present publicly (on the screen).
    The news report will be screened at 11:00 tonight.
  5. To fit with a screen.
    We need to screen this porch. These bugs are driving me crazy.
  6. (medicine) To examine patients or treat a sample in order to detect a chemical or a disease, or to assess susceptibility to a disease.
  7. 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.
  8. (basketball) To stand so as to block a defender from reaching a teammate.
    Synonym: pick

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit