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Definition of "play" []

  • To occupy oneself in amusement, sport, or other recreation: children playing with toys. (verb-intransitive)
  • To take part in a game: No minors are eligible to play. (verb-intransitive)
  • To participate in betting; gamble. (verb-intransitive)
  • To act in jest or sport: They're not arguing in earnest, they're just playing. (verb-intransitive)
  • To deal or behave carelessly or indifferently; toy. See Synonyms at flirt. (verb-intransitive)
  • To occupy oneself in (a sport or diversion); amuse oneself in (a game) (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To contend against (an opponent) in a sport or game (verb)
  • To fulfil or cause to fulfil (a particular role) in a team game (verb)
  • To address oneself to (a ball) in a game (verb)
  • To behave carelessly, esp in a way that is unconsciously cruel or hurtful; trifle or dally (with) (verb)
  • To perform or act the part (of) in or as in a dramatic production; assume or simulate the role (of) (verb)
  • To act out or perform (a dramatic production) (verb)
  • To give a performance in (a place) or (of a performance) to be given in a place (verb)
  • To be received (verb)
  • To have the ability to perform on (a musical instrument) (verb)
  • To perform (on a musical instrument) as specified (verb)
  • To reproduce (a tune, melody, piece of music, note, etc) on an instrument (verb)
  • To perform works by (a specific composer) (verb)
  • To discharge or cause to discharge (verb)
  • To operate, esp to cause (a record player, radio, etc) to emit sound or (of a record player, radio, etc) to emit (sound) (verb)
  • To move or cause to move freely, quickly, or irregularly (verb)
  • To speculate or operate aggressively for gain in (a market) (verb)
  • To attempt to tire (a hooked fish) by alternately letting out and reeling in line and by using the rod's flexibility (verb)
  • To put (a card, counter, piece, etc) into play (verb)
  • To gamble (money) on a game (verb)
  • A dramatic composition written for performance by actors on a stage, on television, etc; drama (noun)
  • The performance of a dramatic composition (noun)
  • (in combination) (noun)
  • Games, exercise, or other activity undertaken for pleasure, diversion, etc, esp by children (noun)
  • (as modifier) (noun)
  • Manner of action, conduct, or playing (noun)
  • The playing or conduct of a game or the period during which a game is in progress (noun)
  • A move or manoeuvre in a game (noun)
  • The situation of a ball that is within the defined area and being played according to the rules (in the phrases in play, out of play) (noun)
  • A turn to play (noun)
  • The act of playing for stakes; gambling (noun)
  • Action, activity, or operation (noun)
  • Freedom of or scope or space for movement (noun)
  • Light, free, or rapidly shifting motion (noun)
  • Fun, jest, or joking (noun)

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Use "play" in a sentence
  • "A retreat from complexity isn't a sign of stupidity, sheeple-hood or lack of an e-peen: honestly, it's perhaps the core pleasure of play, a notion lost to some professionals and scholars who have managed to leach the *play* out of what they do."
  • "We're getting together tonight to chat about what's next, and to play: with both last night and last week being less than productive musically, we want to *play*."
  • "It is by no means my intention to suggest that great writing is not desirable in the drama; but the point must be emphasised that it is not a necessary element in the immediate merit of a play _as a play_."