sub·​field | \ ˈsəb-ˌfēld How to pronounce subfield (audio) \

Definition of subfield

1 : a subset of a mathematical field that is itself a field
2 : a subdivision of a field (as of study)

Examples of subfield in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Programmers even literally learn exception handling, which is an entire subfield by itself: predicting weird things that will try to endrun your code and break your program, and putting up defenses that route them back into the functional zone. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Want to Make Better Decisions? Start Playing More Chess," 31 Oct. 2020 Geometric deep learning: an emerging subfield of artificial intelligence that can learn patterns on curved surfaces. Quanta Magazine, "A Digital Locksmith Has Decoded Biology’s Molecular Keys," 3 June 2020 But this won’t be the last time Kirby will have to make such a call: APS has a somewhat smaller April Meeting, which covers different subfields, scheduled for 18–21 April in Washington, D.C. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "‘We had to act.’ How coronavirus fears forced physics society to nix giant meeting," 4 Mar. 2020 Whole subfields of research have grown up around biologists’ attempts to understand the relationships among the core genes involved in aging, which seem to connect highly disparate biological functions, like metabolism and perception. Quanta Magazine, "Longevity Linked to Proteins That Calm Overexcited Neurons," 26 Nov. 2019 Another vibrant subfield today is Chinese science fiction, which offers an outlet for subtle dissent, and gives Western readers a sense of the country’s hopes and fears. The Economist, "What sci-fi can tell us about the future," 31 Dec. 2019 The initiative aims to be, for SETI, what agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation have been for other subfields: a stable, supportive partner. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, "Space Alien Research Could Get Its First Grad Program," 18 Nov. 2019 Advances in machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI), would enable cars to teach themselves to drive by drawing on reams of data from the real world. The Economist, "Driverless cars are stuck in a jam," 10 Oct. 2019 David looked at the conversations at a granular level, using the tools of a linguistic subfield called conversation analysis. Michael Erard, Quartz, "How a doctor and a linguist are using AI to better talk to dying patients," 3 Sep. 2019

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

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of subfield was in 1894

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Last Updated

3 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subfield.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on subfield

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subfield

Britannica English: Translation of subfield for Arabic Speakers

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