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  1. play
  2. verb

    • 1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose:

      the children were playing outside her friends were playing with their dolls
      Synonym : amuse oneself, entertain oneself, enjoy oneself, have fun, have a good time, relax, rest, be at leisure, occupy oneself, divert oneself, play games, frolic, frisk, gambol, romp, cavort, caper, mess around, lark (about), lark (around), sport, disport oneself
    • 2. engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment:

      I want to play Monopoly
      Synonym : take part in, participate in, engage in, be involved in, join in, compete in, do
    • 3. amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretense:

      the boys were playing cops and robbers
    • 4. engage in without proper seriousness or understanding:

      stars who play at being ordinary
    • 5. treat inconsiderately for one's own amusement:

      she likes to play with people's emotions
    • 6. fiddle or tamper with:

      has somebody been playing with the thermostat?
    • 7. take part in (a sport):

      I play softball and tennis
      Synonym : take part in, participate in, engage in, be involved in, join in, compete in, do
    • 8. participate in (an athletic match or contest):

      the Red Sox will play two games on Wednesday
      Synonym : take part in, participate in, engage in, be involved in, join in, compete in, do
    • 9. compete against (another player or team) in an athletic match or contest:

      the team will play France on Wednesday
      Synonym : compete against, contend against, oppose, take on, challenge, vie with, rival
    • 10. be cooperative:

      he needs financial backing, but the bank won't play
    • 11. be part of a team, especially in a specified position, in a game:

      he played shortstop
    • 12. strike (a ball) or execute (a stroke) in a game:

      was he in an offside position when his teammate played the ball?
    • 13. assign to take part in an athletic contest, especially in a specified position:

      the manager will want to play the right-handed Curtis
    • 14. move (a piece) or display (a playing card) in one's turn in a game:

      he played his queen
    • 15. bet or gamble at or on:

      he didn't play the ponies
    • 16. represent (a character) in a theatrical performance or a film:

      she played Ophelia
      Synonym : act the part of, play the part of, act, take the role of, enact, represent, perform, appear as, portray, depict, impersonate, pretend to be, execute, render, interpret, personate
    • 17. perform in a theatrical production or on film:

      he was proud to be playing opposite a famous actor
    • 18. put on or take part in (a theatrical performance or concert):

      the show was one of the best we ever played
    • 19. give a dramatic performance at (a particular theater or place).

    • 20. behave as though one were (a specified type of person):

      the skipper played the innocent, but smuggled goods were found on his vessel
    • 21. treat someone as being of (a specified type):

      don't imagine you can play me for a fool
    • 22. perform on (a musical instrument):

      we heard someone playing a harmonica a pianist who will play for us
    • 23. possess the skill of performing on (a musical instrument):

      he taught himself to play the violin
      Synonym : perform on, make music on, blow, sound, strum
    • 24. produce (notes) from a musical instrument; perform (a piece of music):

      they played a violin sonata
    • 25. make (a music player, disc, radio, etc.) produce sounds:

      someone is playing a record—I can hear the drum
    • 26. (of a musical instrument, music player, radio, etc.) produce sounds:

      somewhere within, a harp was playing
    • 27. accompany (someone) with music as they are moving in a specified direction:

      the bagpipes played them out of the dining room
    • 28. move lightly and quickly, so as to appear and disappear; flicker:

      a smile played about her lips
      Synonym : move lightly, dance, flit, dart, ripple, lick, touch
    • 29. (of a fountain or similar source of water) emit a stream of gently moving water:

      a fountain played in the courtyard
    • 30. allow (a fish) to exhaust itself pulling against a line before reeling it in:

      no fisherman ever played a bonita more carefully or with greater wile


  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: play, plural noun: plays

    • v.: verb: play, 3rd person present: plays, gerund or present participle: playing, past tense: played, past participle: played

    • verb

      engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose:

      engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment:

    • noun

      activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children:

      behaviour or speech that is not intended seriously:

    • noun

      another term for role playing
    • verb

      act out or perform the part of a person or character, for example as a technique in training or psychotherapy:

      unconsciously act out or perform a particular role in accordance with the perceived expectations of society.

    • noun

      tactics exhibiting or intended to increase a person's power or influence:

      offensive tactics in a team sport involving the concentration of players at a particular point.

    • adjective

      denoting a record that plays longer than most singles.

      denoting an audio- or videotape that is thinner and longer than standard.

    • noun

      a company that focuses exclusively on a particular product or service in order to obtain a large market share.

      a company that operates only on the Internet.

    • pretend to be asleep or unconscious when threatened (in imitation of an opossum's behavior)

      feign ignorance

    • noun

      unfair play in a game or sport:

      unlawful or dishonest behavior, in particular violent crime resulting in another's death:

    • work willingly with others; cooperate

      the umpire's command to begin or resume play

    • act in a dishonest or unfair way
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