\ ˈfēld How to pronounce field (audio) \

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 Practice fielding ground balls as much as you can. Work on keeping the ball in front of you.— Michael Goldman
b : to take care of or respond to (something, such as a telephone call or a request) She has been fielding offers from potential buyers.
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 defensive player stationed in the field


biographical name (1)
\ ˈfēld How to pronounce Field (audio) \

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

Noun 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 Verb 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 Black teams played on city sandlots and country fields, with the best barnstorming their way across the country and throughout the Caribbean. Rob Ruck, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Baseball’s Negro Leagues Defied the Stereotypes of Segregation," 15 Feb. 2020 The families of three high school girls who run track and field in Connecticut are suing in an attempt to bar transgender students from competing in girls' sports. CBS News, "3 Connecticut high schoolers sue to prevent transgender athletes from competing in girls' sports," 13 Feb. 2020 Nick Zak of Brunswick is a member of the Ashland University track and field team. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Medina County students excel at colleges and universities," 13 Feb. 2020 No matter how zany, disruptive, and out-of-left-field fashion shows get, one thing has always been consistent: Fashion shows present new clothing from a single designer. Eliza Huber,, "If The Shoes At Eckhaus Latta Looked Familiar, Here’s Why," 12 Feb. 2020 Quartz asked leaders across India’s biggest industries about that one job in their company or field that will be the most crucial in the coming decades. Quartz India, "Kunal Shah on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 2020 The Democratic field, however, is rife with pledges of first-day action. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "All the 2020 candidates' (mostly stupid) 'day 1' promises," 11 Feb. 2020 Most of the hotel occupants are oil-field workers and managers. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "Bust Town Gamble," 7 Feb. 2020 That showed Wednesday morning as 14 football players participated in the school-wide national signing day ceremony, which also included signees in track and field, volleyball and boys’ basketball. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Lancaster RB Tre Braford’s path to joining NCAA champ LSU includes frequent hijinx and senior-year domination," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nick Senzel took batting practice Thursday and completed fielding drills in the outfield with teammates. Bobby Nightengale,, "David Bell: It's 'realistic' Eugenio Suárez could be ready for Opening Day after surgery," 13 Feb. 2020 The region’s fledgling coalition of socialist-minded insurgents began to discuss fielding third-party national candidates on a platform of progressive taxation, union power, nationalizations, social welfare, and public spending. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "This Is How Bernie Wins," 7 Feb. 2020 Co-op play has you alternate batters and rotate pitching and fielding responsibilities between innings. Valentina Palladino And Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "15 co-op games to play with your partner this Valentine’s Day," 7 Feb. 2020 But Alaska has seen faster employment growth in previous eras when the state’s North Slope fields produced more oil. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "After Trump speech, Gov. Dunleavy said Alaska’s economy has ‘never been stronger.’ Has it?," 5 Feb. 2020 That's because Premier League leader Liverpool is deliberately fielding a young and inexperienced side against Shrewsbury, a team 59 places below Jurgen Klopp's side in the third tier of English football. Amanda Davies And George Ramsay, CNN, "As Liverpool deliberately fields a youthful side, is the FA Cup 'damaging itself?'," 4 Feb. 2020 When the country’s most populous cities field the best teams, the league prospers. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "How the Super Bowl became an unrivaled US cultural phenomenon," 31 Jan. 2020 Elsewhere at the Grammys, big winners Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O'Connell were the two of the most popular stars in the room, fielding photos and fan encounters on the carpet that continued inside. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside the Emotional 2020 Grammys Following Kobe Bryant's Death," 27 Jan. 2020 And those problems gave way to an even more taxing cluster of problems—fielding emails and sympathy cards, accepting casseroles with some modicum of grace, returning to work. Rax King, Glamour, "After My Dad Died, I Started Sending Him Emails. Months Later, Someone Wrote Back," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for field

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for field

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Field.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for field


How to pronounce Field (audio)

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 How to pronounce field (audio) \

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 How to pronounce field (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for field

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with field

Spanish Central: Translation of field

Nglish: Translation of field for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of field for Arabic Speakers

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