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play



I - noun
1. a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage (Freq. 32)
- he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway
Syn:
drama, dramatic play
Derivationally related forms:
dramatic (for: drama), dramatist (for: drama), dramatize (for: drama), dramatise (for: drama), playlet
Topics:
drama
Hypernyms:
dramatic composition, dramatic work
Hyponyms:
Grand Guignol, theater of the absurd, playlet, miracle play, morality play,
mystery play, Passion play, satyr play
Part Meronyms:
stage direction, act
2. a theatrical performance of a drama (Freq. 10)
- the play lasted two hours
Derivationally related forms:
playlet
Hypernyms:
show
Hyponyms:
musical, musical comedy, musical theater, curtain raiser
3. a preset plan of action in team sports (Freq. 8)
- the coach drew up the plays for her team
Hypernyms:
plan of action
Hyponyms:
knock on, power play, football play, razzle-dazzle, razzle,
razzmatazz, razmataz, basketball play
4. a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill (Freq. 6)
- he made a great maneuver
- the runner was out on a play by the shortstop
Syn:
maneuver, manoeuvre
Derivationally related forms:
manoeuvre (for: manoeuvre)
Hypernyms:
motion, movement, move
Hyponyms:
takeaway, figure, completion, pass completion, ball hawking,
assist, icing, icing the puck, jugglery, obstruction, baseball play,
footwork, stroke, shot, safety blitz, linebacker blitzing, blitz,
mousetrap, trap play
Part Holonyms:
athletic game
5. a state in which action is feasible (Freq. 2)
- the ball was still in play
- insiders said the company's stock was in play
Hypernyms:
action, activity, activeness
6. utilization or exercise (Freq. 1)
- the play of the imagination
Hypernyms:
use, usage, utilization, utilisation, employment, exercise
7. an attempt to get something (Freq. 1)
- they made a futile play for power
- he made a bid to gain attention
Syn:
bid
Derivationally related forms:
bid (for: bid)
Hypernyms:
attempt, effort, endeavor, endeavour, try
8. activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules (Freq. 1)
- Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child
Syn:
child's play
Hypernyms:
diversion, recreation
Hyponyms:
house, doctor, fireman
9. a weak and tremulous light
- the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers
- the play of light on the water
Syn:
shimmer
Derivationally related forms:
shimmery (for: shimmer), shimmer (for: shimmer)
Hypernyms:
change, alteration, modification
10. movement or space for movement
- there was too much play in the steering wheel
Syn:
looseness
Ant:
tightness (for: looseness)
Derivationally related forms:
loose (for: looseness)
Hypernyms:
movability, movableness
Hyponyms:
wiggliness, slack, slackness
11. 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
Syn:
fun, sport
Hypernyms:
wit, humor, humour, witticism, wittiness
Hyponyms:
jocosity, jocularity, waggery, waggishness, drollery,
drollery, comedy, funniness, pun, punning,
wordplay, paronomasia
12. the removal of constraints
- he gave free rein to his impulses
- they gave full play to the artist's talent
Syn:
free rein
Hypernyms:
freedom
13. (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
- rain stopped play in the 4th inning
Syn:
playing period, period of play
Topics:
game
Hypernyms:
measure, quantity, amount
Hyponyms:
hole, golf hole, set
Part Holonyms:
athletic game
Part Meronyms:
chukker, chukka, inning, frame, turn,
bout, round, first period, second period, final period, half,
period, quarter, over
14. 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
Syn:
gambling, gaming
Derivationally related forms:
game (for: gaming), gamble (for: gambling)
Hypernyms:
diversion, recreation, vice
Hyponyms:
sporting life, bet, wager, game of chance, gambling game, throw
15. 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
Syn:
frolic, romp, gambol, caper
Derivationally related forms:
caper (for: caper), gambol (for: gambol), romp (for: romp), frolic (for: frolic)
Hypernyms:
diversion, recreation
Hyponyms:
flirt, flirting, flirtation, coquetry, dalliance,
toying, folly, foolery, tomfoolery, craziness, lunacy,
indulgence, game, horseplay, teasing, word play
16. (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
- it is my turn
- it is still my play
Syn:
turn
Topics:
game
Hypernyms:
activity
Hyponyms:
move, start, starting, innings, attack,
attack, bat, at-bat, lead, ruff,
trumping, trick
17. the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
Syn:
swordplay
Hypernyms:
action
Hyponyms:
fencing

II - verb
1. participate in games or sport (Freq. 70)
- We played hockey all afternoon
- play cards
- Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches
See Also:
play out
Derivationally related forms:
player, playing
Hypernyms:
compete, vie, contend
Hyponyms:
line up, curl, snooker, revoke, develop,
die, misplay, start, fumble, volley, unblock,
replay, cricket, backstop, fullback, quarterback, cradle,
exit, play out, field, catch, face off, bully off,
tee off, ace, complete, nail, gamble, walk,
bowl, golf, bandy, foul, put out, croquet,
putt, teeter-totter, teetertotter, seesaw, bid, call
Verb Group:
meet, encounter, take on
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
- Somebody ----s something
2. act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome (Freq. 37)
- This factor played only a minor part in his decision
- This development played into her hands
- I played no role in your dismissal
Hypernyms:
act, move
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- Something ----s something
3. play on an instrument (Freq. 29)
- The band played all night long
Derivationally related forms:
player, playing
Topics:
music
Hypernyms:
perform
Hyponyms:
sound off, strike up, swing, symphonize, symphonise,
play along, accompany, follow, bow, busk
Verb Group:
spiel
Verb Frames:
- Something ----s
- Somebody ----s
- Sam and Sue play
4. play a role or part (Freq. 27)
- 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
Syn:
act, represent
Derivationally related forms:
representation (for: represent), player, playing, actable (for: act), actor (for: act), act (for: act), acting (for: act)
Topics:
performing arts
Hypernyms:
re-create
Hyponyms:
make, pretend, make believe, support, enact,
reenact, act out, impersonate, portray, parody, emote
Verb Group:
act, act as, roleplay, playact
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
- Somebody ----s something
- Somebody ----s somebody
5. be at play;
be engaged in playful activity;
amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children (Freq. 23)
- The kids were playing outside all day
- I used to play with trucks as a little girl
Derivationally related forms:
playing
Hypernyms:
act
Hyponyms:
roughhouse, horse around, arse around, fool around, fool,
frolic, lark, rollick, skylark, disport, sport,
cavort, gambol, frisk, romp, run around, lark about,
dabble, paddle, splash around
Verb Group:
recreate
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
6. replay (as a melody) (Freq. 14)
- Play it again, Sam
- She played the third movement very beautifully
Syn:
spiel
Derivationally related forms:
playing
Hypernyms:
re-create
Hyponyms:
riff, misplay, fiddle, replay, prelude,
jazz, rag, bugle, reprise, reprize, repeat,
recapitulate, slur, bang out, modulate, tongue
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- They will play the duet
7. perform music on (a musical instrument) (Freq. 8)
- He plays the flute
- Can you play on this old recorder?
Derivationally related forms:
playing
Topics:
music
Hypernyms:
sound
Hyponyms:
register, skirl, beat, tweedle, chord,
pipe, drum, harp, fiddle, trumpet, clarion
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
8. pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind (Freq. 6)
- He acted the idiot
- She plays deaf when the news are bad
Syn:
act, act as
Derivationally related forms:
act (for: act)
Hypernyms:
act, behave, do
Verb Group:
act, behave, do, represent
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s somebody
9. move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly (Freq. 5)
- The spotlights played on the politicians
Hypernyms:
travel, go, move, locomote
Verb Frames:
- Something is ----ing PP
10. bet or wager (money) (Freq. 5)
- He played $20 on the new horse
- She plays the races
Hypernyms:
gamble
Hyponyms:
underplay
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
11. engage in recreational activities rather than work;
occupy oneself in a diversion (Freq. 4)
- On weekends I play
- The students all recreate alike
Syn:
recreate
Derivationally related forms:
recreation (for: recreate), playing
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
12. pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity (Freq. 4)
- Let's play like I am mommy
- Play cowboy and Indians
Hypernyms:
simulate, assume, sham, feign
Verb Group:
act, represent
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- Somebody ----s somebody
- Somebody ----s that CLAUSE
13. emit recorded sound (Freq. 3)
- The tape was playing for hours
- the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered
Hypernyms:
sound
Verb Group:
run
Verb Frames:
- Something ----s
- Something ----s something
14. perform on a certain location (Freq. 2)
- The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16
- She has been playing on Broadway for years
Topics:
performing arts
Hypernyms:
perform
Verb Group:
act, roleplay, playact
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
15. put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game (Freq. 2)
- 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:
deploy
Hyponyms:
pitch, cover, declare
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
16. engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously (Freq. 2)
- They played games on their opponents
- play the stock market
- play with her feelings
- toy with an idea
Syn:
toy
Derivationally related forms:
toy (for: toy), playing
Hypernyms:
act, behave, do
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
17. behave in a certain way (Freq. 1)
- play safe
- play it safe
- play fair
Hypernyms:
act, move
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
- Something ----s something Adjective/Noun
- Somebody ----s Adjective
18. cause to emit recorded audio or video (Freq. 1)
- They ran the tapes over and over again
- I'll play you my favorite record
- He never tires of playing that video
Syn:
run
Verb Group:
run, execute
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- Something ----s something
- Sam and Sue play the movie
19. manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination (Freq. 1)
- She played nervously with her wedding ring
- Don't fiddle with the screws
- He played with the idea of running for the Senate
Syn:
toy, fiddle, diddle
See Also:
toy with (for: toy)
Derivationally related forms:
fiddler (for: fiddle)
Hypernyms:
manipulate
Hyponyms:
put out, retire
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s PP
20. use to one's advantage (Freq. 1)
- She plays on her clients' emotions
Hypernyms:
exploit, work
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s PP
21. consider not very seriously (Freq. 1)
- He is trifling with her
- She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania
Syn:
dally, trifle
Hypernyms:
consider, take, deal, look at
Verb Group:
dally, toy, flirt
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s PP
- Sam wants to play with Sue
22. 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
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
23. cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
- The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack
Hypernyms:
move, displace
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- Something ----s something
24. be performed or presented for public viewing
- What's playing in the local movie theater?
- 'Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years
Topics:
performing arts
Hyponyms:
debut
Verb Group:
act, roleplay, playact
Verb Frames:
- Something ----s
- Something is ----ing PP
25. discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
- play water from a hose
- The fountains played all day
Hypernyms:
discharge
Verb Frames:
- Something ----s
- Somebody ----s something
26. make bets
- Play the races
- play the casinos in Trouville
Hypernyms:
bet, wager
Verb Group:
bet, wager
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
27. shoot or hit in a particular manner
- She played a good backhand last night
Hypernyms:
hit
Hyponyms:
hook
Verb Group:
meet, encounter, take on
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
28. use or move
- I had to play my queen
Hypernyms:
use, utilize, utilise, apply, employ
Hyponyms:
promote
Verb Group:
meet, encounter, take on
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
29. employ in a game or in a specific position
- They played him on first base
Hypernyms:
use, utilize, utilise, apply, employ
Verb Group:
meet, encounter, take on
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s somebody
30. contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
- Princeton plays Yale this weekend
- Charlie likes to play Mary
Syn:
meet, encounter, take on
Derivationally related forms:
playing, encounter (for: encounter), meet (for: meet)
Hyponyms:
confront, face, replay
Entailment:
compete, vie, contend
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s somebody
- Sam and Sue play
- Sam cannot play Sue
31. perform on a stage or theater
- She acts in this play
- He acted in 'Julius Caesar'
- I played in 'A Christmas Carol'
Syn:
act, roleplay, playact
Derivationally related forms:
playactor (for: playact), playacting (for: playact), roleplaying (for: roleplay), player, playing, actable (for: act), actor (for: act), act (for: act), acting (for: act)
Topics:
dramaturgy, dramatic art, dramatics, theater, theatre
Hypernyms:
perform
Hyponyms:
stooge, mime, pantomime, overact, ham it up,
ham, overplay, underact, underplay
Verb Group:
act, represent
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
32. stake on the outcome of an issue
- I bet $100 on that new horse
- She played all her money on the dark horse
Syn:
bet, wager
Derivationally related forms:
wager (for: wager), wagerer (for: wager), bettor (for: bet), bet (for: bet), better (for: bet)
Hypernyms:
gamble
Hyponyms:
bet on, back, gage, stake, game,
punt, raise, see
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
- Somebody ----s something
33. 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
Syn:
bring, work, wreak, make for
See Also:
bring on (for: bring), bring off (for: bring), bring up (for: bring)
Derivationally related forms:
workable (for: work)
Hypernyms:
make, create
Verb Group:
work, act
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something
- Something ----s something
34. behave carelessly or indifferently
- Play about with a young girl's affection
Syn:
dally, toy, flirt
Derivationally related forms:
flirting (for: flirt), toying (for: toy), dalliance (for: dally)
Hypernyms:
act, move
Verb Group:
dally, trifle
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s
- Somebody ----s PP
35. exhaust by allowing to pull on the line
- play a hooked fish
Hypernyms:
exhaust, wash up, beat, tucker, tucker out
Verb Frames:
- Somebody ----s something

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