1. [ verb ] (games) participate in games or sports

"We played hockey all afternoon" "play cards" "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"

Related terms: compete walk bid complete fullback bandy start field volley unblock die face_off tee_off ace retire exit play_out seesaw misplay develop cricket replay catch stroke gamble backstop bowl golf quarterback foul cradle croquet curl snooker revoke putt fumble develop play_out meet player playing playing_period
2. [ verb ] 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"

Related terms: act
3. [ noun ] (theater,writing) a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
Synonyms: drama dramatic_play

"he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"

Related terms: dramatic_composition playlet theater_of_the_absurd satyr_play grand_guignol miracle_play morality_play mystery_play Passion_play act stage_direction drama act dramatize dramatize
4. [ verb ] (music,performing arts) play (music) on an instrument

"The band played all night long"

Related terms: perform sound_off accompany bow symphonize swing music musician playing
5. [ verb ] (theater) play a role or part
Synonyms: act represent

"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"

Related terms: re-create enact impersonate act_out spoof make emote support masquerade performing_arts act act act actor acting theatrical_performance
6. [ verb ] 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"

Related terms: act skylark frolic horse_around dabble playing
7. [ verb ] (music) as of melodies
Synonyms: render spiel

"Play it again, Sam" "She played the third movement very beautifully"

Related terms: make re-create replay prelude misplay modulate bugle reprise slur bang_out riff tongue fiddle rag jazz playing
8. [ noun ] (theater,performing arts) a theatrical performance of a drama

"the play lasted two hours"

Related terms: show musical curtain_raiser act
9. [ noun ] (sport) a preset plan of action in team sports

"the coach drew up the plays for her team"

Related terms: plan_of_action football_play basketball_play baseball_play razzle-dazzle knock_on
10. [ verb ] (music) perform music on (a musical instrument)
Synonyms: play_on

"He plays the flute" "Can you play on this old recorder?"

Related terms: sound drum whirl chord pipe beat fiddle trumpet clarion skirl tweedle harp register music music
11. [ verb ] pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
Synonyms: act act_as

"He acted the idiot" "She plays deaf when the news are bad"

Related terms: act act act act
12. [ noun ] a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill
Synonyms: manoeuvre maneuver

"he made a great maneuver" "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"

Related terms: motion stroke completion completion assist icing jugglery figure footwork obstruction jump takeaway mousetrap safety_blitz ball_hawking athletic_game steer
13. [ verb ] move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly

"The spotlights played on the politicians"

Related terms: travel shimmer
14. [ verb ] (games) bet or wager (money)

"He played $20 on the new horse" "She plays the races"

Related terms: gamble underplay
15. [ verb ] pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity

"Let's play like I am mommy" "Play cowboy and Indians"

Related terms: simulate act
16. [ verb ] engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion
Synonyms: recreate

"On weekends I play" "The students all recreate alike"

Related terms: diversion
17. [ verb ] cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
Synonyms: bring make_for work wreak

"I cannot work a miracle" "wreak havoc" "bring comments" "play a joke" "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"

Related terms: make pull_off effect induce raise stage bring_about work
18. [ verb ] emit recorded sound

"The tape was playing for hours" "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"

Related terms: sound
19. [ verb ] (games) engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously
Synonyms: toy

"They played games on their opponents" "play the stockmarket" "play with her feelings" "toy with an idea"

Related terms: act plaything
20. [ noun ] a state in which action is feasible

"the ball was still in play" "insiders said the company's stock was in play"

Related terms: action
21. [ verb ] (cards) 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"

Related terms: deploy declare pitch cover
22. [ verb ] (theater,performing arts) perform on a certain location

: "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16" "She has been playing on Broadway for years"

Related terms: perform performing_arts act
23. [ verb ] cause to be emit recorded sounds
Synonyms: run

: "They ran the tapes over and over again" "Can you play my favorite record?"

Related terms: run run
24. [ noun ] an attempt to get something
Synonyms: bid

"they made a futile play for power" "he made a bid to gain attention"

Related terms: attempt bid
25. [ noun ] (games) play by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
Synonyms: child's_play

"Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"

Related terms: diversion house fireman doctor
26. [ noun ] utilization or exercise

"the play of the imagination"

Related terms: use
27. [ verb ] consider not very seriously
Synonyms: trifle dally

"He is trifling with her" "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"

Related terms: consider dally
28. [ adjective ] imagined as in a play
Synonyms: pretend make-believe

"the make-believe world of theater" "play money" "dangling their legs in the water to catch pretend fish"

Related terms: unreal
29. [ verb ] behave in a certain way

"play safe" "play it safe" "play fair"

Related terms: act
30. [ verb ] use to one's advantage

"She plays on her clients' emotions"

Related terms: exploit maneuver
31. [ verb ] manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
Synonyms: fiddle diddle toy

"She played nervously with her wedding ring" "Don't fiddle with the screws" "He played with the idea of running for the Senate:

Related terms: manipulate put_out entertain fiddler
32. [ verb ] (theater,performing arts) perform on a stage or theater
Synonyms: roleplay playact act

"She acts in this play" "He acted in "Julius Caesar" "I played in "A Christmas Carol"

Related terms: perform mime overact stooge underact dramaturgy act act act roleplaying actor acting barnstormer
33. [ noun ] (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
Synonyms: period_of_play playing_period

"rain stopped play in the 4th inning"

Related terms: measure inning hole turn final_period over first_period second_period chukker third_period half period quarter set chukka athletic_game game
34. [ verb ] exhaust by allowing to pull on the line

"play a hooked fish"

Related terms: exhaust
35. [ noun ] movement or space for movement
Synonyms: looseness

"there was too much play in the steering wheel"

Related terms: tightness movability slack wiggliness
36. [ verb ] behave carelessly or indifferently
Synonyms: toy flirt dally

"Play about with a young girl's affection"

Related terms: act dally flirt
37. [ verb ] contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
Synonyms: meet take_on encounter

"Princeton plays Yale this weekend" "Charlie likes to play Mary"

Related terms: confront replay brush meet compete
38. [ noun ] verbal wit (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
Synonyms: fun sport

"he became a figure of fun"

Related terms: wit drollery pun waggery jocosity
39. [ verb ] cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space, as of machinery

"The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"

Related terms: move looseness
40. [ noun ] gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
Synonyms: frolic caper gambol romp

"it was all done in play" "their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly"

Related terms: diversion horseplay flirt teasing word_play game folly skylark caper
41. [ noun ] (games) the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
Synonyms: gambling gaming

"his gambling cost him a fortune" "there was heavy play at the blackjack table"

Related terms: diversion vice bet game_of_chance sporting_life throw unlicensed_gambling bet_on
42. [ verb ] shoot or hit in a particular manner

"She played a good backhand last night"

Related terms: hit hook meet
43. [ verb ] employ in a game or in a specific position

"They played him on first base"

Related terms: use meet
44. [ verb ] (games) make bets

"Play the reaces" "play the casinos in Trouville"

Related terms: bet bet
45. [ verb ] 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"

46. [ verb ] (games) stake on the outcome of an issue
Synonyms: wager bet

"I bet $100 on that new horse" "She played all her money on the dark horse"

Related terms: gamble bet_on raise see gambling stake bettor
47. [ verb ] discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream

: "play water from a hose" "The fountains played all day"

Related terms: discharge
48. [ verb ] (performing arts) be performed

"What's playing in the local movie theater?" `Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"

Related terms: debut performing_arts act
49. [ noun ] the removal of constraints
Synonyms: free_rein

"he gave free rein to his impulses" "they gave full play to the artist's talent"

Related terms: freedom
50. [ verb ] (cards) use or move

"I had to play my queen"

Related terms: use promote meet
51. [ noun ] a weak and tremulous light
Synonyms: shimmer

"the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers" "the play of light on the water"

Related terms: change
52. [ noun ] the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
Synonyms: turn

"it is my turn" "it is still my play"

Related terms: activity move start attack bat down lead ruff innings game
53. [ noun ] (arms) the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
Synonyms: swordplay
Related terms: action fencing
Similar spelling:   ply