from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A stone occurring naturally in fields, often used as a building material.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A stone found in fields and used for building.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun stone that occurs naturally in fields; often used as building material


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The floors were uneven, and various objects were used to keep the doors from closing: a fieldstone, a paving brick that Mrs Albright had encased in a neat covering made of a piece of carpet, and a conch shell, in which you could hear the roaring of the sea when you held it to your ear.

    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    It seems an obvious compound, so why am I listing it as if I haven't heard it before? Well it turns out to be a newcomer to the language, not the hoary retainer you might expect: OED first quotation is only 1896.

    (Actually I'm not sure exactly what a paving brick is: a paving-stone, or some kind of what I would call a brick? Perhaps it too is a lexical item needing to be listed.)

    July 10, 2008