Definitions

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

  • noun The third of the outfield that is to the left, looking from home plate.
  • noun The position played by the left fielder.
  • noun Informal A position far from the center or mainstream, as of opinion or reason.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Baseball) the part of the outfield on the catcher's or batter's left.

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

  • noun baseball The part of a baseball field which is beyond the infield and to your left if you stand on home plate and face the pitcher
  • noun baseball The defensive position in the outfield to the left.
  • noun idiomatic An unexpected, bizarre, or unwatched source (especially in the phrases out of left field and from left field).
  • noun idiomatic An unusual or unexpected position, or a viewpoint held by very few others in contrast to the majority viewpoint (especially in the phrases out in left field and way out in left field)

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

  • noun the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is expected to field balls in the left third of the outfield (looking from home plate)
  • noun the piece of ground in the outfield on the catcher's left
  • noun the piece of ground in the outfield on the catcher's left
  • noun the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is expected to field balls in the left third of the outfield (looking from home plate)

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Coming straight out of what might seem like left field, let's look at the whole of the Aeneid in terms of another great attempt to articulate human community: Plato's Republic.

    felix hominum

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Mum and Dad left that evening at about nine. They had treated us to dinner and had generally been helpful and lovely. Maybe this time one of their children had rolled so far left field they couldn't really help and had no advice, so all they could do was just sit back, watch and be ready to catch us if we fell.
    Marie Browne, Narrow Margins Mid-Glamorgan: Accent Press Ltd., 2009)

    As an American, I'm struck by the locution "roll left field." In the US, I think "out in left field" refers to the player standing way out there, far from the pitcher and other infielders. Here the image is of the ball that rolls to a part if the field where it's hard to retrieve, Assume it refers to cricket.

    November 3, 2015

  • Left field is not a cricket term so you need another assumption.

    November 3, 2015

  • The other weird thing about that sentence is that if something 'rolled' it would therefore be on the ground...so how can it then fall and be caught?
    Sounds like a writer trying to borrow an Americanism and failing. Not so much a mixed metaphor as one that was pan-fried and put through the mincer.

    November 3, 2015