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

Get our daily newsletter Put your best face forward Face recognition relies on machine learning, a subfield of AI in which computers teach themselves to do tasks that their programmers are unable to explain to them explicitly. The Economist, "As face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it," 15 Aug. 2019 One of this year’s four winners, Cambridge University’s Caucher Birkar, was recognized for his pioneering work in an abstract subfield called algebraic geometry. Stephen Ornes, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: A Fields Medal Winner Talks About the Need to Collaborate," 15 Jan. 2019 Though this year's Concorso d'Eleganza hosted a subfield of crazy Space Age concept cars—including the Lamborghini Marzal, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo, and the Gyro-X gyrocar—the Garmisch did not compete. Brett Berk, Car and Driver, "BMW Reproduces Lost 1970 Garmisch Concept by Calling In Its Original Designer ,Marcello Gandini," 24 May 2019 Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that refers to the science of getting computers to act intelligently without being explicitly programmed. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Shell CIO to Begin Testing AI-Enabled Drones at Houston Plant," 17 Dec. 2018 This is a challenging but lively subfield of AI that’s all about understanding and generating digital text. James Vincent, The Verge, "AI spots 40,000 prominent scientists overlooked by Wikipedia," 8 Aug. 2018 Animal history has in fact grown into a major subfield, with articles published in prestigious journals, classes taught at dozens of top universities, and a new Animal History Museum in development outside Los Angeles. Amy Crawford,, "Why is history always about humans?," 13 July 2018 But in narrow subfields such as applied math or statistics, the numbers are meager compared with demand. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Now Fighting for Top Tech Talent: Makers of Turbines, Tools and Toyotas," 31 May 2018 People usually work in a small subfield for their whole career, so the person supervising their studies will likely show up at the same conferences and in the same collaborations—forever. Sarah Scoles, Outside Online, "The Harassment Problem in Scientific Dream Jobs," 21 May 2018

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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Statistics for subfield

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for subfield

The first known use of subfield was in 1894

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subfield

Britannica English: Translation of subfield for Arabic Speakers

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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