Field-day meaning

(US military, speficially US Navy and US Marine Corps) A day on which there is top-to-bottom all-hands cleaning.
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A time of great pleasure, activity, or opportunity.

The media had a field day with the sensational story.

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A day devoted to military exercises and display.
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A day of athletic events and contests.
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A day spent in outdoor scientific study.
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An occasion of enjoyably exciting events, extraordinary opportunity, or highly successful activity.

The press had a field day with the senator's confession.

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(military) A parade day.
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A school day for athletic events; a sports day.
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A day of class taken away from school for a field trip.
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(idiomatic) A great time or a great deal to do.

They went to the park and had a field day playing on the swings.

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(idiomatic) A great time or a great deal to do, at somebody else's expense.

The reporters will have a field day with a comment like that.

The scandal was a field day for the press.

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Origin of field-day

  • Apparently the idiomatic usage is derived from the "parade day" military use. A parade is much easier than the soldiers’ usual drilling and forced exercise.

    From Wiktionary