Online English learning Courses
    courses   dictionary
Double-click any word on the page to look it up in the dictionary.

Audio English.org » Dictionary » P » Plausibly ... Pleasance

PLAY

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does play mean? 

PLAY (noun)
  The noun PLAY has 17 senses:

1. a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
2. a theatrical performance of a drama
3. a preset plan of action in team sports
4. a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill
5. a state in which action is feasible
6. utilization or exercise
7. an attempt to get something
8. activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
9. (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
10. the removal of constraints
11. a weak and tremulous light
12. verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
13. movement or space for movement
14. gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
15. (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
16. the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
17. the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully

  Familiarity information: PLAY used as a noun is very familiar.


PLAY (verb)
  The verb PLAY has 35 senses:

1. participate in games or sport
2. act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome
3. play on an instrument
4. play a role or part
5. be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children
6. replay (as a melody)
7. perform music on (a musical instrument)
8. pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
9. move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly
10. bet or wager (money)
11. engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion
12. pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
13. emit recorded sound
14. perform on a certain location
15. put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game
16. engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously
17. behave in a certain way
18. cause to emit recorded sounds
19. manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
20. use to one's advantage
21. consider not very seriously
22. be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way
23. behave carelessly or indifferently
24. cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
25. perform on a stage or theater
26. be performed
27. cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
28. discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
29. make bets
30. stake on the outcome of an issue
31. shoot or hit in a particular manner
32. use or move
33. employ in a game or in a specific position
34. contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
35. exhaust by allowing to pull on the line

  Familiarity information: PLAY used as a verb is very familiar.


 Dictionary entry details 


PLAY (noun)


Sense 1play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

drama; dramatic play; play

Context example:

he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

dramatic composition; dramatic work (a play for performance on the stage or television or in a movie etc.)

Meronyms (parts of "play"):

stage direction (an instruction written as part of the script of a play)

act (a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet)

Domain category:

drama (the literary genre of works intended for the theater)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

satyr play (an ancient Greek burlesque with a chorus of satyrs)

Passion play (a play representing the Passion of Christ)

mystery play (a medieval play representing episodes from the life of Christ)

morality play (an allegorical play popular in the 15th and 16th centuries; characters personified virtues and vices)

miracle play (a medieval play representing episodes from the life of a saint or martyr)

playlet (a short play)

theater of the absurd (plays stressing the irrational or illogical aspects of life, usually to show that modern life is pointless)

Grand Guignol (a play of a macabre or horrific nature)


Sense 2play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A theatrical performance of a drama

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

the play lasted two hours

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

show (a social event involving a public performance or entertainment)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

musical; musical comedy; musical theater (a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing)

curtain raiser (a short play presented before the main play)


Sense 3play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A preset plan of action in team sports

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Context example:

the coach drew up the plays for her team

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

plan of action (a plan for actively doing something)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

basketball play (a play executed by a basketball team)

razmataz; razzle; razzle-dazzle; razzmatazz (any exciting and complex play intended to confuse (dazzle) the opponent)

football play ((American football) a play by the offensive team)

power play ((ice hockey) a play in which one team has a numerical advantage over the other as a result of penalties)

knock on ((rugby) knocking the ball forward while trying to catch it (a foul))


Sense 4play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

maneuver; manoeuvre; play

Context examples:

he made a great maneuver / the runner was out on a play by the shortstop

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

motion; move; movement (the act of changing location from one place to another)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

obstruction (getting in someone's way)

baseball play ((baseball) a play executed by a baseball team)

footwork (the manner of using the feet)

shot; stroke ((sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand)

blitz; linebacker blitzing; safety blitz ((American football) defensive players try to break through the offensive line)

mousetrap; trap play ((American football) a play in which a defensive player is allowed to cross the line of scrimmage and then blocked off as the runner goes through the place the lineman vacated)

jugglery (the performance of a juggler)

icing; icing the puck ((ice hockey) the act of shooting the puck from within your own defensive area the length of the rink beyond the opponent's goal)

assist ((sports) the act of enabling another player to make a good play)

ball hawking (a skillful maneuver in catching balls or in stealing the ball from the opposing team)

completion; pass completion ((American football) a successful forward pass in football)

figure (a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating)

takeaway (the act of taking the ball or puck away from the team on the offense (as by the interception of a pass))

Holonyms ("play" is a part of...):

athletic game (a game involving athletic activity)


Sense 5play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A state in which action is feasible

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Context examples:

the ball was still in play / insiders said the company's stock was in play

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

action; activeness; activity (the state of being active)


Sense 6play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Utilization or exercise

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Context example:

the play of the imagination

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

employment; exercise; usage; use; utilisation; utilization (the act of using)


Sense 7play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

An attempt to get something

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

bid; play

Context examples:

they made a futile play for power / he made a bid to gain attention

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

attempt; effort; endeavor; endeavour; try (earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something)


Sense 8play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

child's play; play

Context example:

Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

diversion; recreation (an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

fireman (play in which children pretend to put out a fire)

doctor (children take the roles of physician or patient or nurse and pretend they are at the physician's office)

house (play in which children take the roles of father or mother or children and pretend to interact like adults)


Sense 9play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds

Classified under:

Nouns denoting time and temporal relations

Synonyms:

period of play; playing period; play

Context example:

rain stopped play in the 4th inning

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

amount; measure; quantity (how much there is of something that you can quantify)

Domain category:

game (a contest with rules to determine a winner)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

third period (the third period of play in a game)

final period (the last period of play in a game)

half (in various games or performances: either of two periods of play separated by an interval)

period (one of three periods of play in hockey games)

quarter (one of four periods of play into which some games are divided)

over ((cricket) the period during which a given number of balls (6 in England but 8 in Australia) are bowled at the batsman by one player from the other team from the same end of the pitch)

second period (the second period of play in a game)

first period (the first period of play in a game)

golf hole; hole (one playing period (from tee to green) on a golf course)

chukka; chukker (one of six playing periods into which a polo match is divided)

frame; inning (a period of play in baseball during which each team has a turn at bat)

set (a unit of play in tennis or squash)

bout; round; turn ((sports) a period of play during which one team is on the offensive)

Holonyms ("play" is a part of...):

athletic game (a game involving athletic activity)


Sense 10play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The removal of constraints

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Synonyms:

free rein; play

Context examples:

he gave free rein to his impulses / they gave full play to the artist's talent

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

freedom (the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints)


Sense 11play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A weak and tremulous light

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural events

Synonyms:

shimmer; play

Context examples:

the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers / the play of light on the water

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

alteration; change; modification (an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another)


Sense 12play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

fun; sport; play

Context examples:

he became a figure of fun / he said it in sport

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

humor; humour; wit; witticism; wittiness (a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

paronomasia; pun; punning; wordplay (a humorous play on words)

clowning; comedy; drollery; funniness (a comic incident or series of incidents)

waggery; waggishness (waggish behavior)

jocosity; jocularity (fun characterized by humor)


Sense 13play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Movement or space for movement

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects

Synonyms:

looseness; play

Context example:

there was too much play in the steering wheel

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

movability; movableness (the quality of being movable; capable of being moved or rearranged)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

wiggliness (a jerky back and forth kind of mobility)

slack; slackness (the condition of being loose (not taut))


Sense 14play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

frolic; gambol; romp; caper; play

Context examples:

it was all done in play / their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

diversion; recreation (an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

word play (playing on words or speech sounds)

teasing (playful vexation)

horseplay (rowdy or boisterous play)

game (frivolous or trifling behavior)

craziness; folly; foolery; indulgence; lunacy; tomfoolery (foolish or senseless behavior)

coquetry; dalliance; flirt; flirtation; flirting; toying (playful behavior intended to arouse sexual interest)


Sense 15play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

turn; play

Context examples:

it is my turn / it is still my play

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

activity (any specific behavior)

Domain category:

game (a contest with rules to determine a winner)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

trick ((card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner)

ruff; trumping ((card games) the act of taking a trick with a trump when unable to follow suit)

lead (the playing of a card to start a trick in bridge)

at-bat; bat ((baseball) a turn trying to get a hit)

down ((American football) a complete play to advance the football)

attack (an offensive move in a sport or game)

innings (the batting turn of a cricket player or team)

start; starting (a turn to be a starter (in a game at the beginning))

move ((game) a player's turn to take some action permitted by the rules of the game)


Sense 16play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

gambling; gaming; play

Context examples:

his gambling cost him a fortune / there was heavy play at the blackjack table

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

diversion; recreation (an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates)

vice (a specific form of evildoing)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

sporting life (active interest in gambling on sports events)

bet; wager (the act of gambling)

gambling game; game of chance (a game that involves gambling)

unlicensed gambling (unlicensed gambling is illegal in most jurisdictions)

throw (casting an object in order to determine an outcome randomly)


Sense 17play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

swordplay; play

Hypernyms ("play" is a kind of...):

action (something done (usually as opposed to something said))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "play"):

fencing (the art or sport of fighting with swords (especially the use of foils or epees or sabres to score points under a set of rules))


PLAY (verb)


Sense 1play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Participate in games or sport

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context examples:

We played hockey all afternoon / play cards / Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

compete; contend; vie (compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

gamble (play games for money)

complete; nail (complete a pass)

ace (play (a hole) in one stroke)

tee off (strike a ball from the teeing ground at the start of a hole)

bully off; face off (start a game by a face-off)

catch (be the catcher)

field (play as a fielder)

walk (give a base on balls to)

bowl (engage in the sport of bowling)

golf (play golf)

bandy (toss or strike a ball back and forth)

foul (commit a foul; break the rules)

put out (retire)

croquet (play a game in which players hit a wooden ball through a series of hoops)

putt (hit a putt)

seesaw; teeter-totter; teetertotter (ride on a plank)

bid; call (make a demand, as for a card or a suit or a show of hands)

play out (play to a finish)

exit (lose the lead)

cradle (run with the stick)

line up (take one's position before a kick-off)

curl (play the Scottish game of curling)

snooker (leave one's opponent unable to take a direct shot)

revoke (fail to follow suit when able and required to do so)

develop (move into a strategically more advantageous position)

develop (move one's pieces into strategically more advantageous positions)

die (to be on base at the end of an inning, of a player)

misplay (play wrong or in an unskillful manner)

start (play in the starting lineup)

fumble (drop or juggle or fail to play cleanly a grounder)

quarterback (play the quarterback)

fullback (play the fullback)

backstop (act as a backstop)

cricket (play cricket)

replay (play again)

unblock (play the cards of (a suit) so that the last trick on which a hand can follow suit will be taken by a higher card in the hand of a partner who has the remaining cards of a combined holding)

volley (make a volley)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s something

Also:

play out (play to a finish)


Sense 2play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Context examples:

This factor played only a minor part in his decision / This development played into her hands / I played no role in your dismissal

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act; move (perform an action, or work out or perform (an action))

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 3play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Play on an instrument

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context example:

The band played all night long

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

perform (give a performance (of something))

Domain category:

music (an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

bow (play on a string instrument)

accompany; follow; play along (perform an accompaniment to)

symphonise; symphonize (play or sound together, in harmony)

swing (play with a subtle and intuitively felt sense of rhythm)

sound off; strike up (start playing)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Somebody ----s

Sentence example:

Sam and Sue play


Sense 4play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Play a role or part

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Synonyms:

act; play; represent

Context examples:

Gielgud played Hamlet / She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role / She played the servant to her husband's master

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

re-create (create anew)

Domain category:

performing arts (arts or skills that require public performance)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

emote (give expression or emotion to, in a stage or movie role)

parody (make a spoof of or make fun of)

impersonate; portray (assume or act the character of)

act out (represent an incident, state, or emotion by action, especially on stage)

act out; enact; reenact (act out; represent or perform as if in a play)

support (play a subordinate role to (another performer))

make; make believe; pretend (represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody


Sense 5play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Context examples:

The kids were playing outside all day / I used to play with trucks as a little girl

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act (be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

roughhouse (engage in rough or disorderly play)

arse around; fool; fool around; horse around (indulge in horseplay)

cavort; disport; frisk; frolic; gambol; lark; lark about; rollick; romp; run around; skylark; sport (play boisterously)

dabble; paddle; splash around (play in or as if in water, as of small children)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s


Sense 6play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Replay (as a melody)

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Synonyms:

spiel; play

Context examples:

Play it again, Sam / She played the third movement very beautifully

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

re-create (create anew)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

tongue (articulate by tonguing, as when playing wind instruments)

modulate (change the key of, in music)

bang out (play loudly)

slur (play smoothly or legato)

recapitulate; repeat; reprise; reprize (repeat an earlier theme of a composition)

bugle (play on a bugle)

rag (play in ragtime)

jazz (play something in the style of jazz)

prelude (play as a prelude)

replay (play (a melody) again)

fiddle (play on a violin)

misplay (play incorrectly, e.g., play a wrong note)

riff (play riffs)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something

Sentence example:

They will play the duet


Sense 7play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Perform music on (a musical instrument)

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

He plays the flute / Can you play on this old recorder?

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

sound (cause to sound)

Domain category:

music (an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner)

music (musical activity (singing or whistling etc.))

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

clarion (blow the clarion)

trumpet (play or blow on the trumpet)

fiddle (play the violin or fiddle)

harp (play the harp)

drum (play a percussion instrument)

pipe (play on a pipe)

chord (play chords on (a string instrument))

tweedle (play negligently on a musical instrument)

beat (produce a rhythm by striking repeatedly)

skirl (play the bagpipes)

register (manipulate the registers of an organ)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 8play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Synonyms:

act as; act; play

Context examples:

He acted the idiot / She plays deaf when the news are bad

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act; behave; do (behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s somebody


Sense 9play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly

Classified under:

Verbs of walking, flying, swimming

Context example:

The spotlights played on the politicians

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

go; locomote; move; travel (change location; move, travel, or proceed)

Sentence frame:

Something is ----ing PP


Sense 10play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Bet or wager (money)

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context examples:

He played $20 on the new horse / She plays the races

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

gamble (play games for money)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

underplay (play a card lower than (a held high card))

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 11play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Synonyms:

recreate; play

Context examples:

On weekends I play / The students all recreate alike

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s


Sense 12play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

Let's play like I am mommy / Play cowboy and Indians

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

assume; feign; sham; simulate (make a pretence of)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody
Somebody ----s that CLAUSE


Sense 13play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Emit recorded sound

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

The tape was playing for hours / the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

sound (give off a certain sound or sounds)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Something ----s something


Sense 14play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Perform on a certain location

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16 / She has been playing on Broadway for years

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

perform (give a performance (of something))

Domain category:

performing arts (arts or skills that require public performance)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 15play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context examples:

He is playing his cards close to his chest / The Democrats still have some cards to play before they will concede the electoral victory

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

deploy (place troops or weapons in battle formation)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

pitch (lead (a card) and establish the trump suit)

cover (play a higher card than the one previously played)

declare (designate (a trump suit or no-trump) with the final bid of a hand)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 16play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Synonyms:

toy; play

Context examples:

They played games on their opponents / play the stock market / play with her feelings / toy with an idea

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act; behave; do (behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 17play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Behave in a certain way

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Context examples:

play safe / play it safe / play fair

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act; move (perform an action, or work out or perform (an action))

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Something ----s something Adjective/Noun
Somebody ----s Adjective


Sense 18play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Cause to emit recorded sounds

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Synonyms:

run; play

Context examples:

They ran the tapes over and over again / Can you play my favorite record?

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something

Sentence example:

Sam and Sue play the movie


Sense 19play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

toy; diddle; fiddle; play

Context examples:

She played nervously with her wedding ring / Don't fiddle with the screws / He played with the idea of running for the Senate

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

manipulate (hold something in one's hands and move it)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

put out; retire (cause to be out on a fielding play)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s PP


Sense 20play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Use to one's advantage

Classified under:

Verbs of eating and drinking

Context example:

She plays on her clients' emotions

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

exploit; work (use or manipulate to one's advantage)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s PP


Sense 21play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Consider not very seriously

Classified under:

Verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting

Synonyms:

trifle; dally; play

Context examples:

He is trifling with her / She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

consider; deal; look at; take (take into consideration for exemplifying purposes)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s PP

Sentence example:

Sam wants to play with Sue


Sense 22play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way

Classified under:

Verbs of being, having, spatial relations

Context examples:

This speech didn't play well with the American public / His remarks played to the suspicions of the committee

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s


Sense 23play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Behave carelessly or indifferently

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Synonyms:

toy; dally; flirt; play

Context example:

Play about with a young girl's affection

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

act; move (perform an action, or work out or perform (an action))

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s PP


Sense 24play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space

Classified under:

Verbs of walking, flying, swimming

Context example:

The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

displace; move (cause to move, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 25play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Perform on a stage or theater

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Synonyms:

roleplay; playact; act; play

Context examples:

She acts in this play / He acted in 'Julius Caesar' / I played in 'A Christmas Carol'

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

perform (give a performance (of something))

Domain category:

dramatic art; dramatics; dramaturgy; theater; theatre (the art of writing and producing plays)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

underact; underplay (act (a role) with great restraint)

ham; ham it up; overact; overplay (exaggerate one's acting)

mime; pantomime (act out without words but with gestures and bodily movements only)

stooge (act as the stooge)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s


Sense 26play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Be performed

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

What's playing in the local movie theater? / 'Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years

Domain category:

performing arts (arts or skills that require public performance)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

debut (appear for the first time in public)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Something is ----ing PP


Sense 27play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Synonyms:

make for; wreak; bring; work; play

Context examples:

I cannot work a miracle / wreak havoc / bring comments / play a joke / The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

create; make (make or cause to be or to become)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 28play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Context examples:

play water from a hose / The fountains played all day

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

discharge (pour forth or release)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Somebody ----s something


Sense 29play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make bets

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context examples:

Play the races / play the casinos in Trouville

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

bet; play; wager (stake on the outcome of an issue)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 30play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Stake on the outcome of an issue

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Synonyms:

wager; bet; play

Context examples:

I bet $100 on that new horse / She played all her money on the dark horse

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

gamble (play games for money)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

see (match or meet)

raise (bet more than the previous player)

play (make bets)

back; bet on; gage; game; punt; stake (place a bet on)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s something


Sense 31play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Shoot or hit in a particular manner

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context example:

She played a good backhand last night

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

hit (cause to move by striking)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

hook (secure with the foot)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 32play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Use or move

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context example:

I had to play my queen

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

apply; employ; use; utilise; utilize (put into service; make work or employ (something) for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

promote (change a pawn for a king by advancing it to the eighth row, or change a checker piece for a more valuable piece by moving it the row closest to your opponent)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 33play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Employ in a game or in a specific position

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Context example:

They played him on first base

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

apply; employ; use; utilise; utilize (put into service; make work or employ (something) for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s somebody


Sense 34play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle

Classified under:

Verbs of fighting, athletic activities

Synonyms:

encounter; take on; meet; play

Context examples:

Princeton plays Yale this weekend / Charlie likes to play Mary

"Play" entails doing...:

compete; contend; vie (compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "play"):

confront; face (oppose, as in hostility or a competition)

replay (repeat a game against the same opponent)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s somebody

Sentence examples:

Sam and Sue play
Sam cannot play Sue


Sense 35play [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Exhaust by allowing to pull on the line

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Context example:

play a hooked fish

Hypernyms (to "play" is one way to...):

beat; exhaust; tucker; tucker out; wash up (wear out completely)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Life's a bitch and then you die." (English proverb)

"If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers." (Native American proverb, tribe unknown)

"Whoever works, he will eat." (Armenian proverb)

"The blacksmith's horse has no horseshoes." (Czech proverb)

 PLAY: related words searches 

Page delivered in 0.4776 seconds




AudioEnglish Definitions... Just One Click Away!
Now you can lookup any word in our dictionary, right from the search box in your browser! Click here to add the AudioEnglish.org dictionary to your list of search providers.


Dictionary: go up
Dictionary: go down


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Other popular searches: