• synonyms

field day

See more synonyms for field day on Thesaurus.com
  1. a day devoted to outdoor sports or athletic contests, as at a school.
  2. an outdoor gathering; outing; picnic.
  3. a day for military exercises and display.
  4. an occasion or opportunity for unrestricted activity, amusement, etc.: The children had a field day with their new skateboards.
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Origin of field day

First recorded in 1740–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for field day

Historical Examples

  • We'll have you out, Master Joe, and give you a field-day to-morrow,' said the old man.

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • They were both arrayed in their field-day splendors on this occasion.

    The Guardian Angel

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • He had an eye to a field-day; I had an eye to actual service.

  • What a delightful thing it is to be present at a field-day in King Street.

  • Moreover, to accompany Gatacre on a field-day was a lesson in horsemanship.

    General Gatacre

    Beatrix Gatacre

British Dictionary definitions for field day

field day

  1. a day spent in some special outdoor activity, such as nature study or sport
  2. 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
  3. military a day devoted to manoeuvres or exercises, esp before an audience
  4. informal a day or time of exciting or successful activitythe children had a field day with their new toys
  5. Australian
    1. a day or series of days devoted to the demonstration of farm machinery in country centres
    2. a combined open day and sale on a stud property
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for field day


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with field day

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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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.