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Definitions of play:

  • noun:   the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
  • noun:   play by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
    Example: "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"
  • noun:   gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
    Example: "It was all done in play"
  • noun:   a preset plan of action in team sports
    Example: "The coach drew up the plays for her team"
  • noun:   utilization or exercise
    Example: "The play of the imagination"
  • noun:   a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
    Example: "He wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"
  • noun:   a theatrical performance of a drama
    Example: "The play lasted two hours"
  • noun:   a state in which action is feasible
    Example: "The ball was still in play"
  • noun:   the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
    Example: "It is still my play"
  • noun:   an attempt to get something
    Example: "They made a futile play for power"
  • noun:   movement or space for movement
    Example: "There was too much play in the steering wheel"
  • noun:   verbal wit (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
  • noun:   a weak and tremulous light
    Example: "The play of light on the water"
  • noun:   the removal of constraints
    Example: "They gave full play to the artist's talent"
  • noun:   the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
    Example: "There was heavy play at the blackjack table"
  • noun:   a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill
    Example: "The runner was out on a play by the shortstop"
  • noun:   (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
    Example: "Rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
  • verb:   act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome
    Example: "This factor played only a minor part in his decision"
  • verb:   engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion
    Example: "On weekends I play"
  • verb:   be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children
    Example: "The kids were playing outside all day"
  • verb:   behave in a certain way
    Example: "Play safe"
  • verb:   be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way
    Example: "This speech didn't play well with the American public"
  • verb:   exhaust by allowing to pull on the line
    Example: "Play a hooked fish"
  • verb:   participate in games or sport
    Example: "We played hockey all afternoon"
  • verb:   employ in a game or in a specific position
    Example: "They played him on first base"
  • verb:   use or move
    Example: "I had to play my queen"
  • verb:   shoot or hit in a particular manner
    Example: "She played a good backhand last night"
  • verb:   bet or wager (money)
    Example: "He played $20 on the new horse"
  • verb:   put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game
    Example: "He is playing his cards close to his chest"
  • verb:   make bets
    Example: "Play the reaces"
  • verb:   use to one's advantage
    Example: "She plays on her clients' emotions"
  • verb:   discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
    Example: "Play water from a hose"
  • verb:   engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously
    Example: "They played games on their opponents"
  • verb:   perform on a certain location
    Example: "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"
  • verb:   be performed
    Example: "What's playing in the local movie theater?"
  • verb:   cause to emit recorded sounds
    Example: "Can you play my favorite record?"
  • verb:   emit recorded sound
    Example: "The tape was playing for hours"
  • verb:   pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
    Example: "Let's play like I am mommy"
  • verb:   replay (as a melody)
    Example: "Play it again, Sam"
  • verb:   play on an instrument
    Example: "The band played all night long"
  • verb:   perform music on (a musical instrument)
    Example: "He plays the flute"
  • verb:   move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly
    Example: "The spotlights played on the politicians"
  • verb:   cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
    Example: "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
  • verb:   play a role or part
    Example: "Gielgud played Hamlet"
  • verb:   perform on a stage or theater
    Example: "She acts in this play"
  • verb:   pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
    Example: "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
  • verb:   behave carelessly or indifferently
    Example: "Play about with a young girl's affection"
  • verb:   consider not very seriously
    Example: "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"
  • verb:   contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
    Example: "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"
  • verb:   stake on the outcome of an issue
    Example: "She played all her money on the dark horse"
  • verb:   cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
    Example: "Play a joke"
  • verb:   manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
    Example: "She played nervously with her wedding ring"


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See play used in context: 100 poetry verses, 164 Shakespeare works, 4 quotations, 9 Mother Goose rhymes, 16 Bible passages, 481 definitions


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