\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

But the pass was negated when a crash at the back of the field brought out the caution. Shawn Courchesne,, "Preece Holds Off Rocco for SK Modified Win At Thompson Speedwa," 15 July 2018 Inside, there was the hectic, confused energy of a field hospital run mostly by non-doctors. Joshua Partlow,, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 The girls junior championship is a grueling six-day event for the 156-player field at Poppy Hills Golf Course. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, is now the actor to have the most nominations in that particular field. Rebecca Farley,, "Game Of Thrones Quietly Broke An Emmy Record Yesterday," 13 July 2018 Through his 10-year career, Love is averaging 18.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 44.4% from the field and 37% from three. Khadrice Rollins,, "Watch: Kevin Love Explains How He Learned LeBron James Was Leaving Cavaliers," 13 July 2018 Coutee is a dynamic receiver in the open field capable of eluding defenders. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Andre Johnson impressed with Texans rookie Keke Coutee," 13 July 2018 Deeper in the chamber, four SEALs kept watch on the boys as their comrades ferried in field rations and water. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 Ingenious field-expedient solutions to provide more detection and better identification are a smart way to protect Americans. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Innovative project harnesses Legos and smartphones in the fight against invisible, deadly weapons," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At Nike's nearby flagship store, staff fields up to 200 calls a day asking whether particular items are in stock, said Michelle Warvel, a senior director for Nike stores. David Pan, USA TODAY, "Can you 'crowdsource' a store? Nike is about to find out," 12 July 2018 Cameron Maybin chopped one in front of the mound that Jeremy Jeffress fielded, but his throw was wide left. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marlins 4, Brewers 3 (10 innings): Hader surrenders back-to-back homers; offense struggles," 9 July 2018 The Reds, who lost two games in a row for the first time in more than a week, took a lead through the Cubs’ own fielding miscues. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds' Riggleman on loss to Cubs: 'We're beyond the point of moral victories'," 8 July 2018 That flexibility was key to rapidly developing and fielding missile defense systems to meet the emerging threat. Henry Obering Iii, Fortune, "I Used to Direct the Missile Defense Agency. America Needs New Weapons," 5 July 2018 The boy appeared relaxed fielding questions before dozens of TV cameras and reporters at their lawyers' office in a Chicago high-rise building. CBS News, "Brazilian mom, son separated at U.S.-Mexican border reunited after she sues," 29 June 2018 Teigen has been candid in the past about her and Legend’s struggle to conceive, even getting fielded with nonstop questions about starting a family since they got married in September 2013. Alexia Fernandez,, "'Bath Time!' Chrissy Teigen Shares Adorable Video of Daughter Luna Covering Her Face in Bubbles," 29 June 2018 It was set to continue its racing battles with Audi, fielding a clever new hybrid in the then-new World Endurance Championship and at Le Mans. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 The game ended when Mulholland fielded Casey Martin's comebacker and threw to second to start a double play. Eric Olson, Houston Chronicle, "Oregon State forces Game 3 at College World Series; Arkansas laments blown chance," 28 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


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


see field entry 1


see field entry 1

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Statistics for field

Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

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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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).


lying above or upon

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