field·work | \ˈfēld-ˌwərk \

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 \ noun

Examples of fieldwork in a Sentence

an anthropologist who has done fieldwork in the South Pacific

Recent Examples on the Web

Our latest research, involving four years of extensive fieldwork, including interviews with officials on all sides, leads us to agree. Stefan Wolff, Washington Post, "Remember the Cold War? Putin has brought it back.," 19 Mar. 2018 That isn’t necessarily bad; fieldwork generates stories and friendships as well as hard data. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "The Many Ways Women Get Left Out of Paleontology," 8 June 2018 The fieldwork was carried out by an overall team of 840 individuals, equally balanced on gender, who conducted 45,000 hours of interviews. Dana El Kurd, Washington Post, "On Israel’s 70th anniversary, what does the region think?," 15 May 2018 In that event, further fieldwork in Urabá would be unlikely. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Colombian scientists race to study once-forbidden territory before it is lost to development—or new conflict," 26 Apr. 2018 Carlos Soberanes González, 38, who co-leads the fieldwork with Rodríguez, returned from a final net check. National Geographic, "Inside the Black Market Hummingbird Love Charm Trade," 18 Apr. 2018 In 2017, Brusatte and his student Paige dePolo returned to map the site and interpret its tracks in fieldwork funded by the National Geographic Society. Steve Brusatte, National Geographic, "Huge Dinosaur Footprints Discovered on Scottish Coast," 2 Apr. 2018 In January, after an investigation that included fieldwork in Havana, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found no evidence for an attack with powerful energy beams. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Sonic attack or mass paranoia? New evidence stokes debate over diplomats’ mysterious illness," 20 June 2018 So several times a year, groups of U.S. first-responders from various emergency agencies arrive in Israel for a week-long program of ASTI classroom training and fieldwork alongside their Israeli counterparts. Josh Hasten, Jewish Journal, "U.S. first-responders study methodology in Israel," 3 July 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

29 Sep 2018

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

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a state of commotion or excitement

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