1(data field) An item of data consisting of a number of characters, bytes, words, or codes that are treated together, e.g. to form a number, a name, or an address. A number of fields make a record and the fields may be fixed in length or variable. The term came into use with punched card systems and a field size was defined in terms of a number of columns.
2 Normally a way of designating a portion of a word that has a specific significance or function within that word, e.g. an address field in an instruction word or a character field within a data word.
3 In mathematics, a commutative ring containing more than one element and in which every nonzero element has an inverse with respect to the multiplication operation. Apart from their obvious relationship to arithmetic involving numbers of various kinds, fields play a very important role in discussion about the analysis of algorithms. Results in this area mention the number of operations of a particular kind, and these operations are usually related to addition and multiplication of elements of some field.