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a day devoted to outdoor sports or athletic contests, as at a school.
an outdoor gathering; outing; picnic.
a day for military exercises and display.
an occasion or opportunity for unrestricted activity, amusement, etc.:
The children had a field day with their new skateboards.
a day spent in some special outdoor activity, such as nature study or sport
a day-long competition between amateur radio operators using battery or generator power, the aim being to make the most contacts with other operators around the world
(military) a day devoted to manoeuvres or exercises, esp before an audience
(informal) a day or time of exciting or successful activity: the children had a field day with their new toys


1747, originally a day of military exercise and review (see field (v.)); figurative sense is from 1827.

Related Terms

have a field day
A time of great pleasure, activity, or opportunity, as in The press had a field day with this sensational murder trial. This colloquial expression, dating from the 1700s, originally referred to a day set aside for military maneuvers and exercises, and later was extended to a similar day for sports and games. Since the early 1800s it has been used more loosely.


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