Definition of Play


  • the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
  • the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
    "his gambling cost him a fortune"
    "there was heavy play at the blackjack table"
  • (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
    "it is my turn"
    "it is still my play"
  • gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
    "it was all done in play"
    "their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly"
  • movement or space for movement
    "there was too much play in the steering wheel"
  • verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
    "he became a figure of fun"
    "he said it in sport"
  • a weak and tremulous light
    "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers"
    "the play of light on the water"
  • the removal of constraints
    "he gave free rein to his impulses"
    "they gave full play to the artist's talent"
    - free rein
  • (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
    "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
    - playing period - period of play
  • activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
    "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"
    - child's play
  • an attempt to get something
    "they made a futile play for power"
    "he made a bid to gain attention"
  • utilization or exercise
    "the play of the imagination"
  • a state in which action is feasible
    "the ball was still in play"
    "insiders said the company's stock was in play"
  • a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill
    "he made a great maneuver"
    "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"
  • a preset plan of action in team sports
    "the coach drew up the plays for her team"
  • a theatrical performance of a drama
    "the play lasted two hours"
  • a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
    "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"
    - dramatic play


  • exhaust by allowing to pull on the line
    "play a hooked fish"
  • contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
    "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"
    "Charlie likes to play Mary"
    - take on
  • employ in a game or in a specific position
    "They played him on first base"
  • use or move
    "I had to play my queen"
  • shoot or hit in a particular manner
    "She played a good backhand last night"
  • stake on the outcome of an issue
    "I bet $100 on that new horse"
    "She played all her money on the dark horse"
  • make bets
    "Play the races"
    "play the casinos in Trouville"
  • discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
    "play water from a hose"
    "The fountains played all day"
  • cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
    "I cannot work a miracle"
    "wreak havoc"
    "bring comments"
    "play a joke"
    "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"
    - make for
  • be performed or presented for public viewing
    "What's playing in the local movie theater?"
    "`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"
  • perform on a stage or theater
    "She acts in this play"
    "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"
    "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"
    - roleplay
  • cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
    "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
  • behave carelessly or indifferently
    "Play about with a young girl's affection"
  • be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way
    "This speech didn't play well with the American public"
    "His remarks played to the suspicions of the committee"
  • consider not very seriously
    "He is trifling with her"
    "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"
  • use to one's advantage
    "She plays on her clients' emotions"
  • manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
    "She played nervously with her wedding ring"
    "Don't fiddle with the screws"
    "He played with the idea of running for the Senate"
  • cause to emit recorded audio or video
    "They ran the tapes over and over again"
    "I'll play you my favorite record"
    "He never tires of playing that video"
  • behave in a certain way
    "play safe"
    "play it safe"
    "play fair"
  • engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously
    "They played games on their opponents"
    "play the stock market"
    "play with her feelings"
    "toy with an idea"
  • put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game
    "He is playing his cards close to his chest"
    "The Democrats still have some cards to play before they will concede the electoral victory"
  • perform on a certain location
    "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"
    "She has been playing on Broadway for years"
  • emit recorded sound
    "The tape was playing for hours"
    "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"
  • pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
    "Let's play like I am mommy"
    "Play cowboy and Indians"
  • engage in recreational activities rather than work
    occupy oneself in a diversion
    "On weekends I play"
    "The students all recreate alike"
  • bet or wager (money)
    "He played $20 on the new horse"
    "She plays the races"
  • move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly
    "The spotlights played on the politicians"
  • pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
    "He acted the idiot"
    "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
    - act as
  • perform music on (a musical instrument)
    "He plays the flute"
    "Can you play on this old recorder?"
  • replay (as a melody)
    "Play it again, Sam"
    "She played the third movement very beautifully"
  • be at play
    be engaged in playful activity
    amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children
    "The kids were playing outside all day"
    "I used to play with trucks as a little girl"
  • play a role or part
    "Gielgud played Hamlet"
    "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role"
    "She played the servant to her husband's master"
  • play on an instrument
    "The band played all night long"
  • act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome
    "This factor played only a minor part in his decision"
    "This development played into her hands"
    "I played no role in your dismissal"
  • participate in games or sport
    "We played hockey all afternoon"
    "play cards"
    "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

Word games points for the Play

  • Scrabble® score of the play (9)
  • Word Chums® score of the play (10)
  • Words With Friends® score of the play (10)

Unscramble play

15 unscramble word found using the letters play.

al alp ay la lap lay pa pal paly pay play ply pya ya yap