The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
field \field\ (f[=e]ld), n. [OE. feld, fild, AS. feld; akin to
D. veld, G. feld, Sw. f[aum]lt, Dan. felt, Icel. fold field
of grass, AS. folde earth, land, ground, OS. folda.]
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
(b) The space covered by an optical instrument at one
view; as, wide-field binoculars.
[1913 Webster + PJC]
Without covering, save yon field of stars.
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.
7. (Sports) An open, usually flat, piece of land on which a
sports contest is played; a playing field; as, a football
field; a baseball field.
Syn: playing field, athletic field, playing area.
8. Specifically: (Baseball) That part of the grounds reserved
for the players which is outside of the diamond; -- called
9. A geographic region (land or sea) which has some notable
feature, activity or valuable resource; as, the diamond
fields of South Africa; an oil field; a gold field; an ice
10. A facility having an airstrip where airplanes can take
off and land; an airfield.
Syn: airfield, landing field, flying field, aerodrome.
11. A collective term for all the competitors in any outdoor
contest or trial, or for all except the favorites in the
12. A branch of knowledge or sphere of activity; especially,
a learned or professional discipline; as, she's an expert
in the field of geology; in what field did she get her
doctorate?; they are the top company in the field of
Syn: discipline, subject, subject area, subject field, field
of study, study, branch of knowledge.
Note: Within the master text files of this electronic
dictionary, where a word is used in a specific sense in
some specialized field of knowledge, that field is
indicated by the tags: () preceding that sense of the
13. A location, usually outdoors, away from a studio or
office or library or laboratory, where practical work is
done or data is collected; as, anthropologists do much of
their work in the field; the paleontologist is in the
field collecting specimens. Usually used in the phrase
in the field.
14. (Physics) The influence of a physical object, such as an
electrically charged body, which is capable of exerting
force on objects at a distance; also, the region of space
over which such an influence is effective; as, the
earth's gravitational field; an electrical field; a
magnetic field; a force field.
15. (Math.) A set of elements within which operations can be
defined analagous to the operations of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division on the real
numbers; within such a set of elements addition and
multiplication are commutative and associative and
multiplication is distributive over addition and there
are two elements 0 and 1; a commutative division ring;
as, the set of all rational numbers is a field.
Note: 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 (Zool.), a large European cricket (Gryllus
campestric), remarkable for its loud notes.
(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 (Zool.), the little bustard (Otis tetrax),
found in Southern Europe.
Field glass. (Optics)
(a) A binocular telescope of compact form; a lorgnette; a
(b) A small achromatic telescope, from 20 to 24 inches
long, and having 3 to 6 draws.
(c) See Field lens.
Field lark. (Zool.)
(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
Field marshal (Mil.), the highest military rank conferred
in the British and other European armies.
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 (Zool.), the black-bellied plover (Charadrius
squatarola); also sometimes applied to the Bartramian
sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda).
Field spaniel (Zool.), a small spaniel used in hunting
Field sparrow. (Zool.)
(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 (Zool.), the European meadow mouse.
Field of ice, a large body of floating ice; a pack.
Field, 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.
To lay against the field or To back against the field, to
bet on (a horse, etc.) against all comers.
To take the field (Mil.), to enter upon a campaign.