1. That which covers or defends from injury or annoyance; a protection; a screen. "The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade." (Pope)

2. One who protects; a guardian; a defender. "Thou [God] hast been a shelter for me." (Ps. Lxi. 3)

3. The state of being covered and protected; protection; security. "Who into shelter takes their tender bloom." (Young) Shelter tent,a small tent made of pieces of cotton duck arranged to button together. In field service the soldiers carry the pieces.

Synonyms: Asylum, refuge, retreat, covert, sanctuary, protection, defense, security.

Origin: Cf. OE. Scheltrun, shiltroun, schelltrome, scheldtrome, a guard, squadron, AS. Scildtruma a troop of men with shields; scild shield + truma a band of men. See Shield.

(01 Mar 1998)

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