field vs plain what difference

what is difference between field and plain

English

Etymology

From Middle English feeld, feld, from Old English feld (field; open or cultivated land, plain; battlefield), from Proto-West Germanic *felþu, from Proto-Germanic *felþuz, *felþaz, *felþą (field), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂- (field, plain) or *pleth₂- (flat) (with schwebeablaut).

Cognate with Scots feld, feild (field), North Frisian fjild (field), West Frisian fjild (field), Dutch veld (field), German Feld (field), Swedish fält (field). Related also to Old English folde (earth, land, territory), Old English folm (palm of the hand). More at fold.

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /fiːld/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /fild/
  • Rhymes: -iːld

Noun

field (plural fields)

  1. A land area free of woodland, cities, and towns; an area of open country.
    1. (usually in the plural) The open country near or belonging to a town or city.
  2. A wide, open space that is used to grow crops or to hold farm animals, usually enclosed by a fence, hedge or other barrier.
  3. (geology) A region containing a particular mineral.
  4. An airfield, airport or air base; especially, one with unpaved runways.
  5. A place where competitive matches are carried out.
    1. A place where a battle is fought; a battlefield.
    2. An area reserved for playing a game or race with one’s physical force.
      1. (baseball, obsolete) The team in a match that throws the ball and tries to catch it when it is hit by the other team (the bat).
      2. (baseball) The outfield.
    3. A place where competitive matches are carried out with figures, or playing area in a board game or a computer game.
    4. A competitive situation, circumstances in which one faces conflicting moves of rivals.
    5. (metonymically) All of the competitors in any outdoor contest or trial, or all except the favourites in the betting.
  6. Any of various figurative meanings, often dead metaphors.
    1. (physics) A physical phenomenon (such as force, potential or fluid velocity) that pervades a region; a mathematical model of such a phenomenon that associates each point and time with a scalar, vector or tensor quantity.
    2. Any of certain structures serving cognition.
      1. The extent of a given perception.
      2. A realm of practical, direct or natural operation, contrasted with an office, classroom, or laboratory.
      3. A domain of study, knowledge or practice.
      4. An unrestricted or favourable opportunity for action, operation, or achievement.
      5. (algebra) A commutative ring satisfying the field axioms.
    3. A physical or virtual location for the input of information in the form of symbols.
      1. (heraldry) The background of the shield.
      2. (vexillology) The background of the flag.
      3. The part of a coin left unoccupied by the main device.
      4. A section of a form which is supposed to be filled with data.
        • PHP 5 Forms Required Fields at W3Schools
          From the validation rules table on the previous page, we see that the “Name”, “E-mail”, and “Gender” fields are required. These fields cannot be empty and must be filled out in the HTML form.
      5. A component of a database in which a single unit of information is stored.
        1. (computing, object-oriented programming) An area of memory or storage reserved for a particular value, subject to virtual access controls.
    4. (electronics, film, animation) Part (usually one half) of a frame in an interlaced signal

Synonyms

  • (course of study or domain of knowledge): area, domain, sphere, realm
  • (area reserved for playing a game): course (for golf), court (for racquet sports), ground, pitch (for soccer, rugby, cricket)
  • (location for the input of information): input field, box

Hypernyms

  • (algebra): Euclidean domain ⊂ principal ideal domain ⊂ unique factorization domain, Noetherian domain ⊂ integral domain ⊂ commutative ring;   simple ring ⊂ local ring

Hyponyms

  • (algebra): ordered field, Pythagorean field, residue field, extension field

Derived terms

Descendants

  • Japanese: フィールド (fīrudo)

Translations

Usage notes

In the mathematical sense, some languages, such as French, use a term that literally means “body”. This denotes a division ring or skew field, not necessarily commutative. If it is clear from context that the quaternions and similar division rings are irrelevant, or that all division rings being considered are finite and therefore fields, this difference is ignored.

Verb

field (third-person singular simple present fields, present participle fielding, simple past and past participle fielded)

  1. (transitive, sports) To intercept or catch (a ball) and play it.
  2. (intransitive, baseball, softball, cricket, and other batting sports) To be the team catching and throwing the ball, as opposed to hitting it.
    The blue team are fielding first, while the reds are batting.
  3. (transitive, sports) To place (a team, its players, etc.) in a game.
    The away team fielded two new players and the second-choice goalkeeper.
  4. (transitive) To answer; to address.
    She will field questions immediately after her presentation.
  5. (transitive) To defeat.
  6. (transitive) To execute research (in the field).
  7. (transitive, military) To deploy in the field.
    to field a new land-mine detector

Synonyms

  • (intercept or catch (a ball) and play it):
  • (place a team in (a game)):
  • (answer, address): address, answer, deal with, respond to

Antonyms

  • (be the team throwing and catching the ball): bat

Translations

See also

  • Field in the Encyclopædia Britannica (11th edition, 1911)

Further reading

  • Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “field”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams

  • Fidel, felid, filed, flied

Middle English

Noun

field

  1. Alternative form of feeld


English

Pronunciation

  • enPR: plān, IPA(key): /pleɪn/, [pʰl̥eɪn]
  • Rhymes: -eɪn
  • Homophone: plane

Etymology 1

From Middle English pleyn, borrowed from Anglo-Norman pleyn, playn, Middle French plain, plein, and Old French plain, from Latin plānus (flat, even, level, plain).

Alternative forms

  • plaine (obsolete)

Adjective

plain (comparative plainer, superlative plainest)

  1. (now rare, regional) Flat, level. [from 14th c.]
    • The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.
  2. Simple.
    1. Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished. [from 14th c.]
    2. Of just one colour; lacking a pattern.
    3. Simple in habits or qualities; unsophisticated, not exceptional, ordinary. [from 16th c.]
      • 1654, Henry Hammond, Of Fundamentals
        plain yet pious Christians
      • 1861, Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress in Special Session, July 4th
        the plain people
    4. (of food) Having only few ingredients, or no additional ingredients or seasonings; not elaborate, without toppings or extras. [from 17th c.]
    5. (computing) Containing no extended or nonprinting characters (especially in plain text). [from 20th c.]
  3. Obvious.
    1. Evident to one’s senses or reason; manifest, clear, unmistakable. [from 14th c.]
      • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XV, Practical — Devotional
        In fact, by excommunication or persuasion, by impetuosity of driving or adroitness in leading, this Abbot, it is now becoming plain everywhere, is a man that generally remains master at last.
    2. Downright; total, unmistakable (as intensifier). [from 14th c.]
  4. Open.
    1. Honest and without deception; candid, open; blunt. [from 14th c.]
      • The Quaker was no sooner assured by this fellow of the birth and low fortune of Jones, than all compassion for him vanished; and the honest plain man went home fired with no less indignation than a duke would have felt at receiving an affront from such a person.
    2. Clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
      • 1711, Henry Felton, Dissertation on Reading the Classics
        Our troops beat an army in plain fight.
  5. Not unusually beautiful; unattractive. [from 17th c.]
  6. (card games) Not a trump.
Synonyms
  • (lacking adornment or ornamentation): no-frills, simple, unadorned, unseasoned; see also Thesaurus:bare-bones
  • (of just one colour): monochrome
  • (not exceptional): normal, ordinary
  • (obvious): blatant, ostensible; see also Thesaurus:obvious or Thesaurus:explicit
  • (intensifier): consarn, darned, stinking; see also Thesaurus:damned
  • (honest and without deception): frank, sincere; see also Thesaurus:honest
Antonyms
  • bells and whistles
  • decorative
  • exotic
  • fancy
  • ornate
Derived terms
Related terms
  • plane
  • planar
Translations

Adverb

plain (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Simply.
    It was just plain stupid.
    I plain forgot.
  2. (archaic) Plainly; distinctly.
    Tell me plain: do you love me or no?

Etymology 2

From Anglo-Norman plainer, pleiner, variant of Anglo-Norman and Old French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere, present active infinitive of plangō.

Alternative forms

  • plein

Noun

plain (plural plains)

  1. (rare, poetic) A lamentation.
    • 1815, Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Isles, Canto IV, part IX
      The warrior-threat, the infant’s plain,
      The mother’s screams, were heard in vain;

Verb

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (reflexive, obsolete) To complain. [13th–19th c.]
    • c. 1390, William Landland, Piers Plowman, Prologue:
      Persones and parisch prestes · pleyned hem to þe bischop / Þat here parisshes were pore · sith þe pestilence tyme […].
  2. (transitive, intransitive, now rare, poetic) To lament, bewail. [from 14th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir J. Harrington to this entry?)
    • c. 1600, Joseph Hall, Satires
      Thy mother could thee for thy cradle set
      Her husband’s rusty iron corselet;
      Whose jargling sound might rock her babe to rest,
      That never plain’d of his uneasy nest.
    • 1936, Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, “XXV”, lines 5–9
      Then came I crying, and to-day, / With heavier cause to plain, / Depart I into death away, / Not to be born again.
Related terms

Etymology 3

From Old French plain, from Latin plānum (level ground, a plain), neuter substantive from plānus (level, even, flat). Doublet of llano, piano, and plane.

Noun

plain (plural plains)

  1. An expanse of land with relatively low relief, usually exclusive of forests, deserts, and wastelands.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip. Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato. In: Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association 92. p. 467.
      For Plato the life of the philosopher is a life of struggle towards the goal of knowledge, towards “searching the heavens and measuring the plains, in all places seeking the nature of everything as a whole”
    Synonyms: flatland, grassland
    Hypernyms: land, terrain
    Hyponyms: prairie, steppe
  2. (archaic) Synonym of field in reference to a battlefield.
    • 1899, Alexander John Arbuthnot, Lord Clive: The Foundation of British Rule in India
      You have stormed no town and found the money there ; neither did you find it in the plains of Plassey after the defeat of the Nawab
  3. (obsolete) Alternative spelling of plane: a flat geometric field.
Usage notes
  • As with grassland(s), flatland(s), &c., plains can function as the plural of plain (There are ten principal low plains on Mars) or as its synonym (She lives on the plains), with a vague sense of greater expansiveness.
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Verb

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To level; to raze; to make plain or even on the surface.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, London: William Jones,[1]
      Frownst thou thereat aspiring Lancaster,
      The sworde shall plane the furrowes of thy browes,
    • 1612, George Wither, Prince Henrie’s Obsequies, Elegy 24, in Egerton Brydges (editor), Restituta, Volume I, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1814, p. 399,[2]
      Though kept by Rome’s and Mahomet’s chiefe powers;
      They should not long detain him there in thrall:
      We would rake Europe rather, plain the East;
      Dispeople the whole Earth before the doome:
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To make plain or manifest; to explain.
    • c. 1608, William Shakespeare, Pericles, Act III, Prologue,[3]
      What’s dumb in show, I’ll plain with speech.

Anagrams

  • Aplin, Lipan, Palin, Pinal, in lap, lapin, plani-

Dalmatian

Etymology

From Latin plēnus. Compare Italian pieno, Romansch plain, Romanian plin, French plein.

Adjective

plain (feminine plaina)

  1. full

French

Etymology

From Old French plain, from Latin plānus. Doublet of plan and piano.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /plɛ̃/
  • Homophones: plains, plein, pleins

Adjective

plain (feminine singular plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. (obsolete) plane

Derived terms

  • plain-pied
  • plain-chant

Further reading

  • “plain” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

Anagrams

  • alpin, lapin

Middle French

Etymology

From Old French plain, from Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine singular plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. full (not empty)

Old French

Etymology 1

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine plaine)

  1. full (not empty)
    • circa 1170, Chrétien de Troyes, Érec et Énide:
      De tant come ele l’ot veü,
      Que plains estoit de felenie.

      As she had seen
      He was full of evil
    Antonym: vuit
Descendants
  • French: plein

Etymology 2

From Latin plānum (level ground, a plain), neuter substantive from plānus (level, even, flat).

Noun

plain m (oblique plural plainz, nominative singular plainz, nominative plural plain)

  1. plain (flat area)
Synonyms
  • plaine
Descendants
  • Dutch: plein
  • Middle English:
    • English: plain
    • Scots: plain

Etymology 3

From Latin plānus (level, even, flat).

Adjective

plain m (oblique and nominative feminine singular plaine)

  1. flat (not even or mountainous)

Romansch

Alternative forms

  • plein (Sursilvan)
  • plagn (Sutsilvan, Surmiran)

Etymology

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine singular plaina, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plainas)

  1. (Rumantsch Grischun, Puter, Vallader) full

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