an expanse of open or cleared ground, especially a piece of land suitable or used for pasture or tillage.
a piece of ground devoted to sports or contests; playing field.
(in betting) all the contestants or numbers that are grouped together as one: to bet on the field in a horse race.
(in football) the players on the playing ground.
the area in which field events are held.
the team in the field, as opposed to the one at bat.
the outfield.
a sphere of activity, interest, etc., especially within a particular business or profession: the field of teaching; the field of Shakespearean scholarship.
the area or region drawn on or serviced by a business or profession; outlying areas where business activities or operations are carried on, as opposed to a home or branch office: our representatives in the field.
a job location remote from regular workshop facilities, offices, or the like.
the scene or area of active military operations.
a battleground.
a battle.
Informal. an area located away from the headquarters of a commander.
an expanse of anything: a field of ice.
any region characterized by a particular feature, resource, activity, etc.: a gold field.
the surface of a canvas, shield, etc., on which something is portrayed: a gold star on a field of blue.
(in a flag) the ground of each division.
Physics. the influence of some agent, as electricity or gravitation, considered as existing at all points in space and defined by the force it would exert on an object placed at any point in space. Compare electric field, gravitational field, magnetic field.
Also called field of view. Optics. the entire angular expanse visible through an optical instrument at a given time.
Electricity. the structure in a generator or motor that produces a magnetic field around a rotating armature.
Mathematics. a number system that has the same properties relative to the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as the number system of all real numbers; a commutative division ring.
Photography. the area of a subject that is taken in by a lens at a particular diaphragm opening.
Psychology. the total complex of interdependent factors within which a psychological event occurs and is perceived as occurring.
one or more related characters treated as a unit and constituting part of a record, for purposes of input, processing, output, or storage by a computer: If the hours-worked field is blank or zero, the program does not write a check for that employee.
(in a punch card) any number of columns regularly used for recording the same information.
Television. one half of the scanning lines required to form a complete television frame. In the U.S., two fields are displayed in 1/30 second: all the odd-numbered lines in one field and all the even lines in the next field. Compare frame ( def 9 ).
Numismatics. the blank area of a coin, other than that of the exergue.
Fox Hunting. the group of participants in a hunt, exclusive of the master of foxhounds and his staff.
Heraldry. the whole area or background of an escutcheon.
verb (used with object)
Baseball, Cricket.
to catch or pick up (the ball) in play: The shortstop fielded the grounder and threw to first for the out.
to place (a player, group of players, or a team) in the field to play.
to place in competition: to field a candidate for governor.
to answer or reply skillfully: to field a difficult question.
to put into action or on duty: to field police cars to patrol an area.
Informal. field-test.
verb (used without object) Baseball, Cricket.
to act as a fielder; field the ball.
to take to the field.
of, taking place, or competed for on the field and not on the track, as the discus throw or shot put.
of or pertaining to field events.
Military. of or pertaining to campaign and active combat service as distinguished from service in rear areas or at headquarters: a field soldier.
of or pertaining to a field.
grown or cultivated in a field.
working in the fields of a farm: field laborers.
working as a salesperson, engineer, representative, etc., in the field: an insurance company's field agents.
in the field,
in actual use or in a situation simulating actual use or application; away from a laboratory, workshop, or the like: The machine was tested for six months in the field.
in contact with a prime source of basic data: The anthropologist is working in the field in Nigeria.
within a given profession: The public knows little of him, but in the field he's known as a fine mathematician.
keep the field, to remain in competition or in battle; continue to contend: The troops kept the field under heavy fire.
out in left field. left field ( def 3 ).
play the field, Informal.
to vary one's activities.
to date a number of persons rather than only one: He wanted to play the field for a few years before settling down.
take the field,
to begin to play, as in football or baseball; go into action.
to go into battle: They took the field at dawn.

before 1000; Middle English, Old English feld; cognate with German Feld

misfield, verb
unfielded, adjective Unabridged


Cyrus West, 1819–92, U.S. financier: projector of the first Atlantic cable.
David Dudley, Jr. 1805–94, U.S. jurist (brother of Cyrus West and Stephen Johnson Field).
Erastus Salisbury, 1805–1900, U.S. painter.
Eugene, 1850–95, U.S. poet and journalist.
John, 1782–1837, Irish pianist and composer.
Marshall, 1834–1906, U.S. merchant and philanthropist.
Stephen Johnson, 1816–99, U.S. jurist: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1863–97 (brother of Cyrus West and David Dudley Field). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To field
World English Dictionary
field (fiːld)
1.  an open tract of uncultivated grassland; meadowRelated: campestral
2.  a piece of land cleared of trees and undergrowth, usually enclosed with a fence or hedge and used for pasture or growing crops: a field of barley
3.  a limited or marked off area, usually of mown grass, on which any of various sports, athletic competitions, etc, are held: a soccer field
4.  an area that is rich in minerals or other natural resources: a coalfield
5.  battlefield short for airfield
6.  the mounted followers that hunt with a pack of hounds
7.  a.  all the runners in a particular race or competitors in a competition
 b.  the runners in a race or competitors in a competition excluding the favourite
8.  cricket the fielders collectively, esp with regard to their positions
9.  a wide or open expanse: a field of snow
10.  a.  an area of human activity: the field of human knowledge
 b.  a sphere or division of knowledge, interest, etc: his field is physics
11.  a.  a place away from the laboratory, office, library, etc, usually out of doors, where practical work is done or original material or data collected
 b.  (as modifier): a field course
12.  the surface or background, as of a flag, coin, or heraldic shield, on which a design is displayed
13.  Also called: field of view the area within which an object may be observed with a telescope, microscope, etc
14.  physics
 a.  See field of force
 b.  a region of space that is a vector field
 c.  a region of space under the influence of some scalar quantity, such as temperature
15.  maths a set of entities subject to two binary operations, addition and multiplication, such that the set is a commutative group under addition and the set, minus the zero, is a commutative group under multiplication and multiplication is distributive over addition
16.  maths, logic the set of elements that are either arguments or values of a function; the union of its domain and range
17.  computing
 a.  a set of one or more characters comprising a unit of information
 b.  a predetermined section of a record
18.  television one of two or more sets of scanning lines which when interlaced form the complete picture
19.  obsolete the open country: beasts of the field
20.  hold the field, keep the field to maintain one's position in the face of opposition
21.  in the field
 a.  military in an area in which operations are in progress
 b.  actively or closely involved with or working on something (rather than being in a more remote or administrative position)
22.  lead the field to be in the leading or most pre-eminent position
23.  informal leave the field to back out of a competition, contest, etc
24.  take the field to begin or carry on activity, esp in sport or military operations
25.  informal play the field to disperse one's interests or attentions among a number of activities, people, or objects
26.  (modifier) military of or relating to equipment, personnel, etc, specifically designed or trained for operations in the field: a field gun; a field army
27.  (tr) sport to stop, catch, or return (the ball) as a fielder
28.  (tr) sport to send (a player or team) onto the field to play
29.  (intr) sport (of a player or team) to act or take turn as a fielder or fielders
30.  (tr) military to put (an army, a unit, etc) in the field
31.  (tr) to enter (a person) in a competition: each party fielded a candidate
32.  informal (tr) to deal with or handle, esp adequately and by making a reciprocal gesture: to field a question
Related: campestral
[Old English feld; related to Old Saxon, Old High German feld, Old English fold earth, Greek platus broad]

Field (fiːld)
John. 1782--1837, Irish composer and pianist, lived in Russia from 1803: invented the nocturne

fjeld or field (fjɛld)
a high rocky plateau with little vegetation in Scandinavian countries
[C19: Norwegian; related to Old Norse fjall mountain; see fell5]
field or field
[C19: Norwegian; related to Old Norse fjall mountain; see fell5]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. feld "plain, open land" (as opposed to woodland), also "a parcel of land marked off and used for pasture or tillage," probably related to O.E. folde "earth, land," from P.Gmc. *felthuz "flat land," from PIE *pel(e)-tu-, from base *pele- "flat, to spread" (cf. L. planus "flat, level," O.C.S. polje
"field;" see plane (1)). Common W.Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. feld, M.H.G. velt, Ger. Feld), but not found outside it (Sw. fält, Dan. felt are borrowed from Ger.), though Finnish pelto "field" is believed to have been adapted from P.Gmc. The Eng. spelling with -ie- is probably the work of Anglo-Fr. scribes. The verb meaning "to go out to fight" is 16c., from the n. in the sense of "battlefield" (c.1300). Collective use for "all engaged in a sport" (or, in horseracing, all but the favorite) is 1742; play the field "avoid commitment" (1936) is from notion of gamblers betting on other horses than the favorite. The verb meaning "to stop and return the ball" is first recorded 1823, originally in cricket; figurative sense is from 1902. Field day (1747) was originally a day of military exercise and review; fig. sense is from 1827.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
field  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (fēld)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A distribution in a region of space of the strength and direction of a force, such as the electrostatic force near an electrically charged object, that would act on a body at any given point in that region. See also electric field, magnetic field.

  2. The region whose image is visible to the eye or accessible to an optical instrument.

  3. A set of elements having two operations, designated addition and multiplication, satisfying the conditions that multiplication is distributive over addition, that the set is a group under addition, and that the elements with the exception of the additive identity (0) form a group under multiplication. The set of all rational numbers is a field.

    1. In a database, a space for a single item of information contained in a record.

    2. An interface element in a graphical user interface that accepts the input of text.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

field definition

data, database
An area of a database record, or graphical user interface form, into which a particular item of data is entered.
Example usage: "The telephone number field is not really a numerical field", "Why do we need a four-digit field for the year?".
A database column is the set of all instances of a given field from all records in a table.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Bible Dictionary

Field definition

(Heb. sadeh), a cultivated field, but unenclosed. It is applied to any cultivated ground or pasture (Gen. 29:2; 31:4; 34:7), or tillage (Gen. 37:7; 47:24). It is also applied to woodland (Ps. 132:6) or mountain top (Judg. 9:32, 36; 2 Sam. 1:21). It denotes sometimes a cultivated region as opposed to the wilderness (Gen. 33:19; 36:35). Unwalled villages or scattered houses are spoken of as "in the fields" (Deut. 28:3, 16; Lev. 25:31; Mark 6:36, 56). The "open field" is a place remote from a house (Gen. 4:8; Lev. 14:7, 53; 17:5). Cultivated land of any extent was called a field (Gen. 23:13, 17; 41:8; Lev. 27:16; Ruth 4:5; Neh. 12:29).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with field, also see cover the field; far afield; out in left field; play the field; take the field.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Agencies typically look for people with expertise in the field of activity that
  a given round of proposals will support.
The study also found significant differences by field of study.
Applying a magnetic field to part of the brain disrupts the electrical activity
  of the nerve cells for a few seconds.
Whatever the field of study, collaboration between amateurs and professionals
  is not without its difficulties.
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