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Noun: playing  pley-ing
  1. The act of playing a musical instrument
     
  2. The action of taking part in a game, sport or other recreation
     
  3. The performance of a part or role in a drama
    - acting, playacting, performing
Verb: play  pley
  1. Participate in a game or sport
    "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
     
  2. 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"
     
  3. (music) Perform music using musical instruments
    "The band played all night long"
     
  4. (performing arts) Perform a role or part
    "Gielgud played Hamlet"; "She played the servant to her husband's master";
    - act, represent
     
  5. 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"
     
  6. Replay (as a melody)
    "Play it again, Sam"; "She played the third movement very beautifully";
    - spiel
     
  7. (music) perform music on (a musical instrument)
    "He plays the flute"; "Can you play on this old recorder?"
     
  8. Pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
    "She plays deaf when the news are bad";
    - act, act as
     
  9. Move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly
    "The spotlights played on the politicians"
     
  10. Bet or wager (money)
    "He played $20 on the new horse"; "She plays the races"
     
  11. Engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion
    "On weekends I play";
    - recreate
     
  12. Pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
    "Let's play like I am mommy"; "Play cowboy and Indians"
     
  13. Emit recorded sound
    "The tape was playing for hours"; "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"
     
  14. (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"
     
  15. 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"
     
  16. 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
     
  17. Behave in a certain way
    "play safe"; "play it safe"; "play fair"
     
  18. Cause to emit recorded audio or video
    "I'll play you my favourite record"; "He never tires of playing that video";
    - run
     
  19. Manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
    "She played nervously with her wedding ring"; "He played with the idea of running for the Senate";
    - toy, fiddle, diddle
     
  20. Use to one's advantage
    "She plays on her clients' emotions"
     
  21. Consider not very seriously
    "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania";
    - dally, trifle
     
  22. Be received, 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"
     
  23. Behave carelessly or indifferently
    "Play about with a young girl's affection";
    - dally, toy, flirt
     
  24. Cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
    "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
     
  25. (dramaturgy) perform on a stage or theatre
    "She acts in this play"; "I played in 'A Christmas Carol'"; "She roleplays in this play"; "She playacts in this play";
    - act, roleplay, playact
     
  26. (performing arts) be performed or presented for public viewing
    "What's playing in the local movie theatre?"; "'Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"
     
  27. Cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
    "play a joke";
    - bring, work, wreak, make for
     
  28. Discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
    "play water from a hose"; "The fountains played all day"
     
  29. Make bets
    "Play the races"; "play the casinos in Trouville"
     
  30. Stake on the outcome of an issue
    "She played all her money on the dark horse";
    - bet, wager
     
  31. Shoot or hit in a particular manner
    "She played a good backhand last night"
     
  32. Use or move
    "I had to play my queen"
     
  33. Employ in a game or in a specific position
    "They played him on first base"
     
  34. Contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
    "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"; "Charlie likes to play Mary";
    - meet, encounter, take on
     
  35. Exhaust by allowing to pull on the line
    "play a hooked fish"

Derived forms: playings

See also: play out, played

Type of: act, action, activity, apply, assume, beat, behave, compete, consider, contend, create, deploy, discharge, displace, do, employ, exhaust, exploit, feign, gamble, go, hit, locomote, look at, make, manipulate, move, musical performance, perform, performing arts, re-create, sham, simulate, sound, take, travel, tucker [N. Amer], tucker out [N. Amer], use, utilise [Brit], utilize, vie, wash up, work

Part of: performance

Encyclopedia: Playing

Play, Pierre-Guillaume-Frederic Le