WordNet 2.0
  • a particular kind of commercial enterprise
  • "they are outstanding in their field"
  • a place where planes take off and land
  • the area that is visible (as through an optical instrument)
  • a branch of knowledge
  • "in what discipline is his doctorate?"
  • "teachers should be well trained in their subject"
  • "anthropology is the study of human beings"
  • all the competitors in a particular contest or sporting event
  • all of the horses in a particular horse race
  • (mathematics) a set of elements such that addition and multiplication are commutative and associative and multiplication is distributive over addition and there are two elements 0 and 1
  • "the set of all rational numbers is a field"
  • (computer science) a set of one or more adjacent characters comprising a unit of information
  • a region where a battle is being (or has been) fought
  • "they made a tour of Civil War battlefields"
  • a region in which active military operations are in progress
  • "the army was in the field awaiting action"
  • "he served in the Vietnam theater for three years"
  • somewhere (away from a studio or office or library or laboratory) where practical work is done or data is collected
  • "anthropologists do much of their work in the field"
  • a piece of land cleared of trees and usually enclosed
  • "he planted a field of wheat"
  • a piece of land prepared for playing a game
  • "the home crowd cheered when Princeton took the field"
  • a geographic region (land or sea) under which something valuable is found
  • "the diamond fields of South Africa"
  • extensive tract of level open land
  • "they emerged from the woods onto a vast open plain"
  • "he longed for the fields of his youth"
  • the space around a radiating body within which its electromagnetic oscillations can exert force on another similar body not in contact with it
  • a particular environment or walk of life
  • "his social sphere is limited"
  • "it was a closed area of employment"
  • "he''s out of my orbit"
  • select (a team or individual player) for a game
  • "The Patriots fielded a young new quarterback for the Rose Bowl"
  • answer adequately or successfully
  • "The lawyer fielded all questions from the press"
  • play as a fielder
  • catch or pick up (balls) in baseball or cricket
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  • 1. Cleared land; land suitable for tillage or pasture; cultivated ground; the open country.

    2. A piece of land of considerable size; esp., a piece inclosed for tillage or pasture.

    "Fields which promise corn and wine." -- Byron.

    3. A place where a battle is fought; also, the battle itself.

    "In this glorious and well-foughten field." -- Shak.

    "What though the field be lost?" -- Milton.

    4. An open space; an extent; an expanse. Esp.: (a) Any blank space or ground on which figures are drawn or projected. (b) The space covered by an optical instrument at one view.

    "Without covering, save yon field of stars." -- Shak.

    "Ask of yonder argent fields above." -- Pope.

    5. (Her.) The whole surface of an escutcheon; also, so much of it is shown unconcealed by the different bearings upon it. See Illust. of Fess, where the field is represented as gules (red), while the fess is argent (silver).

    6. An unresticted or favorable opportunity for action, operation, or achievement; province; room.

    "Afforded a clear field for moral experiments." -- Macaulay.

    7. A collective term for all the competitors in any outdoor contest or trial, or for all except the favorites in the betting.

    8. (Baseball) That part of the grounds reserved for the players which is outside of the diamond; -- called also outfield.

    Field is often used adjectively in the sense of belonging to, or used in, the fields; especially with reference to the operations and equipments of an army during a campaign away from permanent camps and fortifications. In most cases such use of the word is sufficiently clear; as, field battery; field fortification; field gun; field hospital, etc. A field geologist, naturalist, etc., is one who makes investigations or collections out of doors. A survey uses a field book for recording field notes, i.e., measurment, observations, etc., made in field work (outdoor operations). A farmer or planter employs field hands, and may use a field roller or a field derrick. Field sports are hunting, fishing, athletic games, etc.

    Coal field
    (Geol.) See under Coal.

    Field artillery
    light ordnance mounted on wheels, for the use of a marching army.

    Field basil
    (Bot.), a plant of the Mint family (Calamintha Acinos); -- called also basil thyme.

    Field colors
    (Mil.), small flags for marking out the positions for squadrons and battalions; camp colors.

    Field cricket
    (Zoöl.), a large European cricket (Gryllus campestric), remarkable for its loud notes.

    Field day
    (a) A day in the fields. (b) (Mil.) A day when troops are taken into the field for instruction in evolutions. Farrow. (c) A day of unusual exertion or display; a gala day.

    Field driver
    in New England, an officer charged with the driving of stray cattle to the pound.

    Field duck
    (Zoöl.), the little bustard (Otis tetrax), found in Southern Europe.

    Field glass
    (Optics) (a) A binocular telescope of compact form; a lorgnette; a race glass. (b) A small achromatic telescope, from 20 to 24 inches long, and having 3 to 6 draws. (c) See Field lens.

    Field lark
    (Zoöl.) (a) The skylark. (b) The tree pipit.

    Field lens
    (Optics), that one of the two lenses forming the eyepiece of an astronomical telescope or compound microscope which is nearer the object glass; -- called also field glass.

    Field madder
    (Bot.), a plant (Sherardia arvensis) used in dyeing.

    Field marshal
    (Mil.), the highest military rank conferred in the British and other European armies.

    Field mouse
    (Zoöl.), a mouse inhabiting fields, as the campagnol and the deer mouse. See Campagnol, and Deer mouse.

    Field officer
    (Mil.), an officer above the rank of captain and below that of general.

    Field officer's court
    (U.S.Army), a court-martial consisting of one field officer empowered to try all cases, in time of war, subject to jurisdiction of garrison and regimental courts. Farrow.

    Field plover
    (Zoöl.), the black-bellied plover (Charadrius squatarola); also sometimes applied to the Bartramian sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda).

    Field spaniel
    (Zoöl.), a small spaniel used in hunting small game.

    Field sparrow
    (Zoöl.) (a) A small American sparrow (Spizella pusilla). (b) The hedge sparrow. [Eng.]

    Field staff
    > (Mil.), a staff formerly used by gunners to hold a lighted match for discharging a gun.

    Field vole
    (Zoöl.), the European meadow mouse.

    Field of ice
    a large body of floating ice; a pack.

    or Field of view
    in a telescope or microscope, the entire space within which objects are seen.

    Field magnet
    see under Magnet.

    Magnetic field
    See Magnetic.

    To back the field
    or To bet on the field
    See under Back, v. t.

    To keep the field
    (a) (Mil.) To continue a campaign. (b) To maintain one's ground against all comers.

    lay, or back
    against the field
    to bet on (a horse, etc.) against all comers.

    To take the field
    (Mil.), to enter upon a campaign.

  • 1. To take the field. [Obs.] Spenser.

    2. (Ball Playing) To stand out in the field, ready to catch, stop, or throw the ball.

  • 1. To catch, stop, throw, etc. (the ball), as a fielder.


Sadness does not inhere in things; it does not reach us from the world and through mere contemplation of the world. It is a product of our own thought. We create it out of whole cloth.

Emile Durkheim