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2 definitions found
 for Shield fern
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Shield \Shield\, n. [OE. sheld, scheld, AS. scield, scild,
     sceld, scyld; akin to OS. scild, OFries. skeld, D. & G.
     schild, OHG. scilt, Icel. skj["o]ldr, Sw. sk["o]ld, Dan.
     skiold, Goth. skildus; of uncertain origin. Cf. Sheldrake.]
     1. A broad piece of defensive armor, carried on the arm, --
        formerly in general use in war, for the protection of the
        body. See Buckler.
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              Now put your shields before your hearts and fight,
              With hearts more proof than shields.  --Shak.
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     2. Anything which protects or defends; defense; shelter;
        protection. "My council is my shield." --Shak.
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     3. Figuratively, one who protects or defends.
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              Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield, and thy exceeding
              great reward.                         --Gen. xv. 1.
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     4. (Bot.) In lichens, a Hardened cup or disk surrounded by a
        rim and containing the fructification, or asci.
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     5. (Her.) The escutcheon or field on which are placed the
        bearings in coats of arms. Cf. Lozenge. See Illust. of
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     6. (Mining & Tunneling) A framework used to protect workmen
        in making an adit under ground, and capable of being
        pushed along as excavation progresses.
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     7. A spot resembling, or having the form of, a shield.
        "Bespotted as with shields of red and black." --Spenser.
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     8. A coin, the old French crown, or ['e]cu, having on one
        side the figure of a shield. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
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     Shield fern (Bot.), any fern of the genus Aspidium, in
        which the fructifications are covered with shield-shaped
        indusia; -- called also wood fern. See Illust. of
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  shield fern
      n 1: any of various ferns of the genera Dryopteris or
           Polystichum or Lastreopsis having somewhat shield-shaped
           coverings on the sori [syn: shield fern, buckler fern]

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