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Old English scield, scild "shield; protector, defense," literally "board," from Proto-Germanic *skelduz (cf. Old Norse skjöldr, Old Saxon skild, Middle Dutch scilt, Dutch schild, German Schild, Gothic skildus), from *skel- "divide, split, separate," from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (see scale (n.1)). Perhaps the notion is of a flat piece of wood made by splitting a log. Shield volcano (1911) translates German Schildvulkan (1910). Plate tectonics sense is from 1906, translating Suess (1888).
Old English gescildan, from the root of shield (n.). Related: Shielded; shielding. Cf. German scilden.
A protective device or structure, such as a lead sheet to protect an individual from x-rays.
Free of; unencumbered by: There it was again: ''risk.'' I wondered if I'd ever be shed of it (1871+)
used in defensive warfare, varying at different times and under different circumstances in size, form, and material (1 Sam. 17:7; 2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 10:17; 1 Chr. 12:8, 24, 34; Isa. 22:6; Ezek. 39:9; Nahum 2:3). Used figuratively of God and of earthly princes as the defenders of their people (Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29; Ps. 33:20; 84:11). Faith is compared to a shield (Eph. 6:16). Shields were usually "anointed" (Isa. 21:5), in order to preserve them, and at the same time make the missiles of the enemy glide off them more easily.