Synonyms of play


1. play, drama, dramatic play, dramatic composition, dramatic work

usage: a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"

2. play, show

usage: a theatrical performance of a drama; "the play lasted two hours"

3. play, plan of action

usage: a preset plan of action in team sports; "the coach drew up the plays for her team"

4. maneuver, manoeuvre, play, motion, movement, move

usage: a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill; "he made a great maneuver"; "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"

5. play, action, activity, activeness

usage: a state in which action is feasible; "the ball was still in play"; "insiders said the company's stock was in play"

6. play, use, usage, utilization, utilisation, employment, exercise

usage: utilization or exercise; "the play of the imagination"

7. bid, play, attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try

usage: an attempt to get something; "they made a futile play for power"; "he made a bid to gain attention"

8. play, child's play, diversion, recreation

usage: activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules; "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"

9. playing period, period of play, play, measure, quantity, amount

usage: (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds; "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"

10. free rein, play, freedom

usage: the removal of constraints; "he gave free rein to his impulses"; "they gave full play to the artist's talent"

11. shimmer, play, change, alteration, modification

usage: a weak and tremulous light; "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers"; "the play of light on the water"

12. fun, play, sport, wit, humor, humour, witticism, wittiness

usage: verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun"; "he said it in sport"

13. looseness, play, movability, movableness

usage: movement or space for movement; "there was too much play in the steering wheel"

14. play, frolic, romp, gambol, caper, diversion, recreation

usage: gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; "it was all done in play"; "their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly"

15. turn, play, activity

usage: (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession; "it is my turn"; "it is still my play"

16. gambling, gaming, play, diversion, recreation, vice

usage: the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize); "his gambling cost him a fortune"; "there was heavy play at the blackjack table"

17. play, swordplay, action

usage: the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully


1. play, compete, vie, contend

usage: participate in games or sport; "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"

2. play, act, move

usage: 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. play, perform

usage: play on an instrument; "The band played all night long"

4. act, play, represent, re-create

usage: play a role or part; "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"

5. play, act

usage: be at play; 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. play, spiel, re-create

usage: replay (as a melody); "Play it again, Sam"; "She played the third movement very beautifully"

7. play, sound

usage: perform music on (a musical instrument); "He plays the flute"; "Can you play on this old recorder?"

8. act, play, act as, act, behave, do

usage: pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"

9. play, travel, go, move, locomote

usage: move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly; "The spotlights played on the politicians"

10. play, gamble

usage: bet or wager (money); "He played $20 on the new horse"; "She plays the races"

11. play, recreate

usage: engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion; "On weekends I play"; "The students all recreate alike"

12. play, simulate, assume, sham, feign

usage: 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. play, sound

usage: emit recorded sound; "The tape was playing for hours"; "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"

14. play, perform

usage: perform on a certain location; "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"; "She has been playing on Broadway for years"

15. play, deploy

usage: 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. play, toy, act, behave, do

usage: 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 with an idea"

17. play, act, move

usage: behave in a certain way; "play safe"; "play it safe"; "play fair"

18. play, run

usage: cause to emit recorded audio or video; "They ran the tapes over and over again"; "I'll play you my favorite record"; "He never tires of playing that video"

19. toy, fiddle, diddle, play, manipulate

usage: manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination; "She played nervously with her wedding ring"; "Don't fiddle with the screws"; "He played with the idea of running for the Senate"

20. play, exploit, work

usage: use to one's advantage; "She plays on her clients' emotions"

21. dally, trifle, play, consider, take, deal, look at

usage: consider not very seriously; "He is trifling with her"; "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"

22. play

usage: be received or 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. dally, toy, play, flirt, act, move

usage: behave carelessly or indifferently; "Play about with a young girl's affection"

24. play, move, displace

usage: cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space; "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"

25. act, play, roleplay, playact, perform

usage: perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"

26. play

usage: be performed or presented for public viewing; "What's playing in the local movie theater?"; "`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"

27. bring, work, play, wreak, make for, make, create

usage: cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"

28. play, discharge

usage: 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. play, bet, wager, play

usage: make bets; "Play the races"; "play the casinos in Trouville"

30. bet, wager, play, gamble

usage: stake on the outcome of an issue; "I bet $100 on that new horse"; "She played all her money on the dark horse"

31. play, hit

usage: shoot or hit in a particular manner; "She played a good backhand last night"

32. play, use, utilize, utilise, apply, employ

usage: use or move; "I had to play my queen"

33. play, use, utilize, utilise, apply, employ

usage: employ in a game or in a specific position; "They played him on first base"

34. meet, encounter, play, take on

usage: contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle; "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"; "Charlie likes to play Mary"

35. play, exhaust, wash up, beat, tucker, tucker out

usage: exhaust by allowing to pull on the line; "play a hooked fish"

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Definition and meaning of play (Dictionary)