\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

Although these two fields have disentangled over time, the mystical teachings of the cosmos still guide us today. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality Traits, Explained by an Astrologer," 28 Oct. 2018 Ahead of her set, she and the talent agent were photographed getting cozy on the football field and taking photos together. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Confirms She's Engaged to Christian Carino," 16 Oct. 2018 The company listed a range of full-time opportunities in different fields. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "Amazon Is Hiring Over 200 Work-From-Home Positions With Benefits," 9 Aug. 2018 The full field of golfers has been announced for next week's PGA Tour stop in Kentucky. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Who is playing in next week's PGA Tour event in Kentucky?," 14 July 2018 In a field where disconnect abounds, its annual workshop is a chance for academics to brush shoulders with emergency management officials, sociologists, engineers, rescuers and those involved in longer-term recovery. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Fires, floods, hurricanes: Disaster experts weigh ‘new normal’," 14 July 2018 Growing the field in 2022, however, is problematic because Qatar is such a small nation. Steven Goff, Houston Chronicle, "FIFA president: World Cup could expand to 48 teams in 2022, ahead of schedule," 13 July 2018 Mostly because Croatia didn’t field a team until 1990, shortly before declaring independence a year later. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Croatia Eyes the Greatest Upset in World Cup History," 13 July 2018 The team's off-the-field adventures included cycling trips, river rafting, swimming in waterfalls, and exploring caves. Eddie Pells, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bond between players and coach may have saved Thai boy's lives," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cozy and Avail seek to provide comprehensive support for landlords, from fielding maintenance requests to collecting rent. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Online property management tools are moving the landlord-tenant relationship to the internet," 7 Nov. 2018 In addition to the ERCA upgrades, the Army could end up fielding the new Nammo ramjet artillery shell. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s New Howitzer Barrel is Ridiculously Long," 17 Oct. 2018 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent much of the first day of their royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji greeting well-wishers and fielding congratulations from members of the public. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles Is Really, Really Excited About Harry & Meghan's Baby News," 16 Oct. 2018 Between September 29 and October 1, the survey asked Americans six questions identical to the ones that pollsters fielded in the days after Hill’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Exclusive: We re-ran polls from 1991 about Anita Hill, this time about Christine Blasey Ford," 4 Oct. 2018 Regardless of the dust-up, the AMD Threadripper 2990WX (preorder on Newegg) still has several months' head start while Intel can only field an 18-core CPU. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's 32-core Threadripper dares Intel to match it on cores and price," 6 Aug. 2018 Lopez says, noting that the San Diego Pride organization itself fields donations, holds events and doles out money throughout the year. Rob Ledonne,, "San Diego Pride 2018: Where music and LGBTQ activism go hand-in-hand," 11 July 2018 Basu presented each scenario to the audience quickly, fielding some questions and allowing for some back-and-forth over the proposals at the start of the night. Cody Boteler,, "Possible fixes for Baltimore County high school overcrowding include new construction, 'aggressively' using space," 11 July 2018 Before hosting his own basketball show on the digital platform Cycle and fielding calls from ESPN for appearances, Perez was a simply an independent fan of the NBA who started creating massive amounts of basketball content on social media. Kirk A. Bado, azcentral, "NBA Summer League bets on importance of engaging off the court," 11 July 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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Learn More about field

Statistics for field

Last Updated

12 Nov 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).


noxious or harmful

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