field

Definitions

General English

  • noun a piece of ground on a farm, used for keeping animals or growing crops
  • noun a piece of ground for playing a game

General Science

  • noun a section containing individual data items in a record
  • noun the force which one object exerts on another
  • noun an area of natural resources, e.g. an oilfield or coalfield
  • noun an area of interest or activity

Agriculture

  • noun an area of land, usually surrounded by a fence or hedge, used for growing crops or for pasture

Astronomy

  • The main types of field encountered in astronomy are gravitational, magnetic and electric. Any mass has a gravitational field, which like electric and magnetic fields are subject to an inverse square law. Electric fields are found surrounding electric charges, and can involve objects being attracted (if they have a charge opposite to that of the object whose field they are in), repelled (if they bear the same charge) or not affected at all if they are electrically neutral. An electric field can be produced by flowing electric current or by a static electric charge. Electric and magnetic fields are essentially manifestations of the same effect, and electricity is generated by movement in magnetic fields. Magnetic fields affect mainly iron, nickel and similar magnetic materials as well as ionised materials like charged particles in the Sun or the Earth’s outer atmosphere.

Computing

  • noun an area of force and energy distribution, caused by magnetic or electric energy sources
  • noun a section containing particular data items in a record

Construction

  • In masonry, an expanse of brickwork between two openings or corners.
  • A term used to designate a construction project site.
  • Occupation such as a trade, profession, or specialty.
  • An area of floor, wall, or ceiling that is covered with tile or other preformed shapes that did not require cutting, as opposed to those areas along a border or edge.

Cricket

  • noun the entire area of grass, marked off by a boundary line around its outer edge, on which a game of cricket is played, as distinguished from the ‘pitch’ or central area between the two wickets
    Citation ‘On that sunlit fourth morning, England strode out on to the field with Australia 175 for 8, chasing 282’ (Steven Lynch, Wisden 2006)
  • noun a fielder
    Citation ‘On smooth wickets you would see Peel at one end, and perhaps Bates at the other, with eight fields on the off side’ (Badminton 1888)
  • noun the members of a fielding side, considered in terms of the particular configuration in which they are deployed
    Citation ‘He obviously considered the time was come to check a situation which might become dangerous, and for a spell Davidson and Mackay bowled defensively to deep-set, run-saving fields’ (Peebles 1959)
    Citation ‘Warne … places his field with the same air as a tycoon touring his factory, or a director sweeping through his set’ (Haigh 2005)
    See also attacking field, defensive field
  • noun the fielders collectively
    Citation ‘Mr Jardine rang his changes and shifted the field about, but the first pair seemed immovable’ (Larwood 1933)
    Citation ‘There were many glorious back foot drives straight to the ropes, and he pierced the field beautifully, placing the ball in the smallest of gaps between mid-off and extra cover’ (Purandare 2005, p174)
  • verb to be, or be a member of, the side that is attempting to bowl the batting side out
    Citation ‘The players had to field in muffs and greatcoats, and such was the cold they could scarcely feel the handle of the bat, or know whether they had fielded the ball or not’ (Lillywhite 1860)
  • verb to act as a fielder in the specified position
    Citation ‘For once the ploy worked nicely, Hughes timing his hook perfectly so that it carried all the way to Emburey fielding a few yards in from the edge just behind square’ (Brearley 1982)
  • verb (of a captain or team) to elect to be the fielding side after winning the toss
    Citation ‘Despite losing his leading fast bowler, Ponting decided to field on a cloudy morning, influenced by some gloomy predictions about the pitch’ (Steven Lynch, Wisden 2006, p102)
  • verb to stop and return the ball when acting as a fielder
    Citation ‘Parked out at mid-on, he would never field a ball if he could kick it on to a team-mate’ (Frith 1984)
  • verb (of a team) to go into a match with the stated players
    Citation ‘Australia brought in Hogg … for Maguire, while Pakistan fielded the same side which had drawn the Fourth Test in Melbourne’ (Henry Blofeld, Cricketer March 1984)

Electronics

  • A region of space within which a physical force exerts its influence. Examples include electric fields, magnetic fields, and gravitational fields. An electric field, for instance, is one in which a charged particle or body exerts a force on charged particles or bodies situated in the medium surrounding it. Such fields may be represented by lines of force.
  • In TV, one of two equal parts into which a frame is divided. For example, either of the two scans that are interlaced to make up a frame.
  • A space where computer data is stored, such as a cell in a spreadsheet. Most fields have their associated attributes. For example, it may have a numeric attribute if it contains numbers. A collection of fields is called a record. Also called data field.
  • A setting in which normal operating conditions occur, as opposed, for instance, to a laboratory.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a section containing individual data in a record, e.g. a person’s name or address

Media Studies

  • noun in sociology, an area in which a person has multiple interpersonal relationships and experiences conflict and struggle

Military

  • noun a well-defined piece of agricultural land (usually enclosed by a fence)

Sports

  • noun an open expanse of ground kept or marked out as a playing area for a particular sport
  • noun all the participants in a race or other competitive event
  • noun a particular arrangement of cricket fielders around the wicket
  • verb in cricket, rounders or baseball, to retrieve, pick up or catch a ball in play, usually after it has been struck by the person batting
  • verb in cricket, rounders or baseball, to act as a fielder

Origin & History of “field”

like plain, field seems originally to have meant ‘area of flat, open land’. It comes ultimately from the Indo-European base *plth-, which also produced Greek platús ‘broad’, English place and plaice, and possibly also English flan and flat. A noun derived from it, *peltus, entered prehistoric west Germanic as *felthuz, which subsequently disseminated as German feld, Dutch veld (English acquired veld or veldt (19th c.) via its Afrikaans offshoot), and English field.
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