a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway
a theatrical performance of a drama
the play lasted two hours
a preset plan of action in team sports
the coach drew up the plays for her team
a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill
he made a great maneuver|the runner was out on a play by the shortstop
a state in which action is feasible
the ball was still in play|insiders said the company's stock was in play
utilization or exercise
the play of the imagination
an attempt to get something
they made a futile play for power|he made a bid to gain attention
Synonym: bid
activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child
Synonym: child's play
(in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
rain stopped play in the 4th inning
the removal of constraints
he gave free rein to his impulses|they gave full play to the artist's talent
Synonym: free rein
a weak and tremulous light
the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers|the play of light on the water
Synonym: shimmer
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
Synonym: fun, sport
movement or space for movement
there was too much play in the steering wheel
Synonym: looseness
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
Synonym: romp, gambol, frolic, caper
(game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
it is my turn|it is still my play
Synonym: turn
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
Synonym: gambling, gaming
the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
Synonym: swordplay
participate in games or sport
We played hockey all afternoon|play cards|Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches
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
play on an instrument
The band played all night long
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
Synonym: act, represent
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
replay (as a melody)
Play it again, Sam|She played the third movement very beautifully
Synonym: spiel
perform music on (a musical instrument)
He plays the flute|Can you play on this old recorder?
pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
He acted the idiot|She plays deaf when the news are bad
Synonym: act, act as
move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly
The spotlights played on the politicians
bet or wager (money)
He played $20 on the new horse|She plays the races
engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion
On weekends I play|The students all recreate alike
Synonym: recreate
pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
Let's play like I am mommy|Play cowboy and Indians
emit recorded sound
The tape was playing for hours|the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered
perform on a certain location
The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16|She has been playing on Broadway for years
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
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
Synonym: toy
behave in a certain way
play safe|play it safe|play fair
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
Synonym: run
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
Synonym: diddle, fiddle, toy
use to one's advantage
She plays on her clients' emotions
consider not very seriously
He is trifling with her|She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania
Synonym: trifle, dally
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
behave carelessly or indifferently
Play about with a young girl's affection
Synonym: dally, flirt, toy
cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space
The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack
perform on a stage or theater
She acts in this play|He acted in `Julius Caesar'|I played in `A Christmas Carol'
Synonym: roleplay, playact, act
be performed or presented for public viewing
What's playing in the local movie theater?|`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years
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
Synonym: wreak, work, make for, bring
discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
play water from a hose|The fountains played all day
make bets
Play the races|play the casinos in Trouville
stake on the outcome of an issue
I bet $100 on that new horse|She played all her money on the dark horse
Synonym: wager, bet
shoot or hit in a particular manner
She played a good backhand last night
use or move
I had to play my queen
employ in a game or in a specific position
They played him on first base
contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle
Princeton plays Yale this weekend|Charlie likes to play Mary
exhaust by allowing to pull on the line
play a hooked fish