field·​work | \ ˈfēld-ˌwərk How to pronounce fieldwork (audio) \

Definition of fieldwork

1 : a temporary fortification thrown up by an army in the field
2 : work done in the field (as by students) to gain practical experience and knowledge through firsthand observation
3 : the gathering of anthropological or sociological data through the interviewing and observation of subjects in the field

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Other Words from fieldwork

field-worker \ ˈfēld-​ˌwər-​kər How to pronounce field-worker (audio) \ noun

Examples of fieldwork in a Sentence

an anthropologist who has done fieldwork in the South Pacific

Recent Examples on the Web

My fieldwork partners in Kotama explained to me that Kichwa-Otavaleño transverse flute music and spiral dancing represent the motion of celestial bodies and people’s relationships with Pachamama (Mother Spacetime). Smithsonian, "Andean Solstice Celebrations Capture the Wondrous Churn of Spacetime," 22 June 2018 The activity prompted the authorities to evacuate Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where all of the Basalt project’s Hawaii fieldwork has taken place. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Kilauea Volcano’s Lava Fields Offer Scientists a Portal to Mars," 28 May 2018 Soon after, in January 2012, Clancy began posting women’s fieldwork accounts to her Scientific American blog. Sarah Scoles, Outside Online, "The Harassment Problem in Scientific Dream Jobs," 21 May 2018 The combination of limited funding for academic fieldwork, spectacular new discoveries, complicated foreign laws and widespread political corruption continues to set up a thorny trap even for the most scrupulous scientists. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Dinosaur Artist’ Review: Old Bones Are Big Business," 6 Sep. 2018 This type of fieldwork is a bit like that on a much longer timescale and over a much larger area. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Hominins lived in China 2.1 million years ago," 11 July 2018 With daily fieldwork and nightly lectures, participants bunk in ramshackle shelters and see as much bone-chilling wind and rain as skin-blistering sun reflected off endless mounds of snow. Scott Yorko, Popular Mechanics, "Back to Alaska: How a Legendary Glacier Adventure Almost Died When the World Needed It Most," 12 Sep. 2018 Mary Doria Russell did extensive fieldwork for this moving novel about the experience of an Italian community under 20 months of German occupation. Megan Koreman, WSJ, "Five Best: Megan Koreman on the Cost of Courage Under Nazism," 25 Oct. 2018 The team plans to begin that fieldwork within the next year. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The world’s oldest figurative drawing depicts a wounded animal," 9 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fieldwork.' 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 fieldwork

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fieldwork

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for fieldwork

The first known use of fieldwork was in 1686

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English Language Learners Definition of fieldwork

: the work of gathering information by going into the field (sense 4)

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More from Merriam-Webster on fieldwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fieldwork

Britannica English: Translation of fieldwork for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fieldwork

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