\ ˈfēld \

Definition of field

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a(1) : an open land area free of woods and buildings
(2) : an area of land marked by the presence of particular objects or features dune fields
b(1) : an area of cleared enclosed land used for cultivation or pasture a field of wheat
(2) : land containing a natural resource oil fields
(3) : airfield
c : the place where a battle is fought also : battle
d : a large unbroken expanse (as of ice)
2a : an area or division of an activity, subject, or profession the field of microbiology
b : the sphere of practical operation outside a base (such as a laboratory, office, or factory) geologists working in the field
c : an area for military exercises or maneuvers
d(1) : an area constructed, equipped, or marked for sports a football field
(2) : the portion of an indoor or outdoor sports area enclosed by the running track and on which field events are conducted
(3) : any of the three sections of a baseball outfield hits to all fields
3 : a space on which something is drawn or projected: such as
a : the space on the surface of a coin, medal, or seal that does not contain the design
b : the ground of each division in a flag
c : the whole surface of an escutcheon (see escutcheon sense 1)
4 : the individuals that make up all or part of the participants in a contest The election attracted a large field of candidates. especially : all participants with the exception of the favorite or the winner in a contest where more than two are entered
5 : the area visible through the lens of an optical instrument
6a : a region or space in which a given effect (such as magnetism) exists a magnetic field a gravitational field
b : a region of embryonic tissue capable of a particular type of differentiation (see differentiation sense 3) a morphogenetic field
7 : a set of mathematical elements that is subject to two binary operations the second of which is distributive (see distributive sense 3) relative to the first and that constitutes a commutative (see commutative sense 2) group under the first operation and also under the second if the zero or unit element under the first is omitted
8 : a complex of forces that serve as causative agents in human behavior
9 : a series of drain tiles and an absorption area for septic-tank outflow
10 : a particular area (as of a record in a database) in which the same type of information is regularly recorded
from the field
: in field goals as opposed to free throws made 40 percent of his shots from the field



Definition of field (Entry 2 of 6)

: of or relating to a field: such as
a : growing in or inhabiting the fields or open country
b : made, conducted, or used in the field
c : operating or active in the field


fielded; fielding; fields

Definition of field (Entry 3 of 6)

transitive verb

1a : to catch or pick up (something, such as a batted ball) and usually throw to a teammate
b : to take care of or respond to (something, such as a telephone call or a request)
c : to give an impromptu answer or solution to the senator fielded the reporters' questions
2 : to put into the field field an army field a team also : to enter in competition

intransitive verb

: to play as a fielder


biographical name (1)
\ ˈfēld \

Definition of Field (Entry 4 of 6)

Cyrus West 1819–1892 American financier


biographical name (2)

Definition of Field (Entry 5 of 6)

Eugene 1850–1895 American poet and journalist


biographical name (3)

Definition of Field (Entry 6 of 6)

Marshall 1834–1906 American merchant

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Examples of field in a Sentence


He gazed out across the fields. She hopes to find work in the health field. She is a pioneer in the field of genetic research. a lawyer who is eminent in his field working in his chosen field a fascinating field of endeavor


The shortstop fielded the ground ball. a shortstop who fields his position flawlessly Last week she fielded two offers on her house. His secretary will field requests for more information. The senator fielded the reporters' questions. They expect to field a strong team this year. the greatest fighting force that any nation has ever fielded
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many of the players are coming off several weeks—or even months—of downtime, which means the general field of athletes is rested and ready to go, says the spokesperson. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2019 Australian Open, Including How to Watch," 16 Jan. 2019 Winners of the Yard Sign Wars Tandem NYC and Tony Casas, designers of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Beto O’Rourke’s campaign graphics, respectively, shook up a field mired in American flags and red, white and blue. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Sleep like an aristocrat Sintra, a resort town just a half-hour drive west of Lisbon, nails that perfect Euro beach, castle ruins, and fields of flowers trifecta. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Editor's Picks: New Hotels and Spas Worth Traveling For," 21 Aug. 2018 Plus, Terry Jo was making important contributions to her field. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 The trailer opens with a shot of birds flying overhead and animals grazing in a field. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Disney Debuted the Trailer for "The Lion King" Live-Action Movie," 22 Nov. 2018 Set in a field of native grasses and wildflowers and surrounded by the Bridger Teton National Forest, the 6,407-square-foot home was designed by Carney Logan Burke to blend into its natural surroundings. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Mod mountain retreat asks $11.9M," 9 Nov. 2018 One beautiful about Election Day is that, at least theoretically, everyone is on the same playing field at the polls. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Even Designers Are Pushing You To Go Vote This Election Day," 6 Nov. 2018 Since officially forming its blockchain group just eight months ago, Facebook has sent staffers to crypto conferences around the world to recruit researchers, cryptographers, and top academics in the field. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Brother Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory and thus the pope’s chief astronomer, is accustomed to fielding offbeat questions with good humor. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "An Astronomer’s View of the Christmas Sky," 21 Dec. 2018 Attorneys Josh Blackman and Chad Flores joined Heindorff on stage to field any questions related to Defense Distributed's ongoing case against various state attorney generals. Nathan Mattise And Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Defense Distributed’s new era—Cody Wilson resigns, former arts professional steps in," 25 Sep. 2018 But on his way out of a hearing in May, Woodard agreed to field a few questions from a Post reporter. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "He once defended the poor in court. Now he defends white supremacists.," 2 July 2018 Thursday’s hearing had been called to allow the law enforcement officials to field questions about the 500-page report from the department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "House G.O.P. Breaks Into Open Warfare With Rosenstein, Demanding Files," 28 June 2018 White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' daily briefing, first scheduled for 1:15 p.m., was pushed back to 3:30 p.m., then to 4 p.m., then to 5 p.m., so Nielsen could field questions at the lectern. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump defiant as crisis grows over family separation at the border," 19 June 2018 Panel members Saturday fielded questions from audience members asking how to discuss gun control with others who may have opposing views and how others can help. Alicia Fabbre, Naperville Sun, "Naperville town hall meeting with Parkland students pushes message for change: organize, educate, vote," 17 June 2018 During the press conference, coach DJ Durkin shared some words about McNair and the tragic situation before executive athletic director Damon Evans fielded questions from the media. Khadrice Rollins,, "Watch: Maryland Coach DJ Durkin Fights Back Tears While Speaking On Jordan McNair's Death," 14 June 2018 Over the course of the hourlong panel at the Paramount Theater, the gang fielded questions about the finale, including the garage confrontation, that shocking moment on the train and the final return to the homeland. Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Americans' Cast and Creators Reflect on "Heartbreaking" Series Finale: "It Just Felt Right"," 10 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'field.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of field


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1798, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for field

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English feld; akin to Old High German feld field, Old English flōr floor — more at floor

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Statistics for field

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for field

The first known use of field was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for field



English Language Learners Definition of field

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an open area of land without trees or buildings

: an area of land that has a special use

: an area of work, study, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of field (Entry 2 of 2)

baseball or cricket : to catch or stop and throw a ball; also : to play (a position) on a baseball team

: to deal with or respond to (something, such as a telephone call or a request)

: to give an answer to (a question)


\ ˈfēld \

Kids Definition of field

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a piece of open, cleared, or cultivated land
2 : a piece of land put to a special use or giving a special product a ball field an oil field
3 : an area of activity or influence the field of science
4 : a background on which something is drawn, painted, or mounted The United States flag has white stars on a blue field.



Kids Definition of field (Entry 2 of 3)

: relating to a field field work


fielded; fielding

Kids Definition of field (Entry 3 of 3)

: to catch or stop and throw a ball


\ ˈfē(ə)ld \

Medical Definition of field

1 : an area or division of an activity a doctor eminent in her field
2 : a complex of forces that serve as causative agents in human behavior
3a : a region of embryonic tissue potentially capable of a particular type of differentiation a morphogenetic field
b : a region or space in which a given effect (as magnetism) exists
4a : an area that is perceived or under observation especially : the area visible through the lens of an optical instrument — see visual field
b : the site of a surgical operation

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More from Merriam-Webster on field

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with field

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for field

Spanish Central: Translation of field

Nglish: Translation of field for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of field for Arabic Speakers

Comments on field

What made you want to look up field? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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