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Noun: playing  pley-ing
  1. The action of taking part in a game, sport or other recreation
  2. The performance of a part or role in a drama
    - acting, playacting, performing
  3. The act of playing a musical instrument
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 [informal]
  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 money or something else of value on the outcome of an unpredictable event or disputed 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"
  36. Manipulate or exploit a system to one's advantage, esp. in an unfair way
    - game

Derived forms: playings

See also: play out, played

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

Part of: performance

Encyclopedia: Playing

Play, Pierre-Guillaume-Frédéric Le