\ 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 The Giants were one of three big-league parks that still had the bullpens on the field. Henry Schulman,, "Giants begin construction of new bullpens: How Oracle Park is changing," 8 Nov. 2019 The Hawks pay tribute to Shomari by running on the field with his No. David Hinojosa,, "Harlan carries fallen teammate with them this season," 8 Nov. 2019 But the playing field in 2020 is more even, and the results in the House in 2018 — when Republicans were swamped in districts that had previously been blue, purple, or even light red — provide reasons for worry. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "Character Effects," 7 Nov. 2019 Expect the Giants to win by around a field goal as RB Saquon Barkley will be the best player on the field as the only real game-changer. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Giants-Jets odds: Giants slight favorites," 6 Nov. 2019 Despite a noticeable number of empty seats, action on the field didn’t disappoint. Washington Post, "Crisis throws curve ball at opening of Venezuelan baseball," 6 Nov. 2019 On the field, many of the stalwarts of the last decade or so have departed: Hummels returned to Dortmund and Franck Ribéry left for Fiorentina. Rory Smith, New York Times, "At Bayern Munich, the Bill Comes Due," 6 Nov. 2019 Until now, games have been the work of the twenty-two players, the referee, and his or her assistants—the cast of characters on the field of play. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Disastrous Arrival of Video Replay in English Soccer," 2 Nov. 2019 But Payton was so much more than his accomplishments on the field. Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire, "It's been 20 years since Walter Payton passed away," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In dozens of interviews, Snowden, who lives in exile in Russia, has fielded and dodged a lot of questions about those parts of his life. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "Edward Snowden and the Rise of Whistle-Blower Culture," 16 Sep. 2019 Since last year, according to United Nations investigators, the Houthis have fielded drones with a range up to 1,500km (930 miles), enough to reach Abqaiq and Khurais. The Economist, "Drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half," 15 Sep. 2019 State Democratic officials already have fielded inquiries from the leading presidential contenders about the legal qualifications for Illinois’ primary. Rick Pearson,, "Illinois primary’s not until St. Patrick’s Day, but ballot requirements present early challenge to large field of Democratic presidential contenders," 13 Sep. 2019 Or, for that matter, all that consistent: The franchise hasn’t fielded a starter at right tackle in consecutive opening weekends since 2011-13, when Orlando Franklin held down the fort over three consecutive seasons. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Why Ja’Wuan James’ $51-million contract with the Broncos is worth every penny," 2 Sep. 2019 Its hosts have fielded live calls from Trump and landed interviews with the president, who in turn lauds the show to his 64 million Twitter followers. Los Angeles Times, "Fox News advertisers get a direct line to the viewer in chief," 28 Aug. 2019 The Wolverines have fielded an elite unit each of the past three seasons, thanks in large part to defensive coordinator Don Brown. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "These two players will determine if Michigan football's defense is elite," 21 Aug. 2019 The school hasn’t fielded a team since its Division II program was discontinued in the 1970s, according to the Washington Post. Ron Kroichick,, "Warriors’ Stephen Curry funds new golf programs at Howard University," 19 Aug. 2019 The vast majority of people who criticized that move didn’t spend three hours every week watching perhaps the worst team the franchise has fielded since moving to Arizona in 1988. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Cardinals begin grand experiment: Can they win with rookie head coach, quarterback?," 27 July 2019

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

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for field

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

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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

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 spread as a report or rumor

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