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Definition of Play


  1. To engage in sport or lively recreation; to exercise for the sake of amusement; to frolic; to spot.
  2. To act with levity or thoughtlessness; to trifle; to be careless.
  3. To contend, or take part, in a game; as, to play ball; hence, to gamble; as, he played for heavy stakes.
  4. To perform on an instrument of music; as, to play on a flute.
  5. To act; to behave; to practice deception.
  6. To move in any manner; especially, to move regularly with alternate or reciprocating motion; to operate; to act; as, the fountain plays.
  7. To move gayly; to wanton; to disport.
  8. To act on the stage; to personate a character.
  9. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump.
  10. To perform music upon; as, to play the flute or the organ.
  11. To perform, as a piece of music, on an instrument; as, to play a waltz on the violin.
  12. To bring into sportive or wanton action; to exhibit in action; to execute; as, to play tricks.
  13. To act or perform (a play); to represent in music action; as, to play a comedy; also, to act in the character of; to represent by acting; to simulate; to behave like; as, to play King Lear; to play the woman.
  14. To engage in, or go together with, as a contest for amusement or for a wager or prize; as, to play a game at baseball.
  15. To keep in play, as a hooked fish, in order to land it.
  16. Amusement; sport; frolic; gambols.
  17. Any exercise, or series of actions, intended for amusement or diversion; a game.
  18. The act or practice of contending for victory, amusement, or a prize, as at dice, cards, or billiards; gaming; as, to lose a fortune in play.
  19. Action; use; employment; exercise; practice; as, fair play; sword play; a play of wit.
  20. A dramatic composition; a comedy or tragedy; a composition in which characters are represented by dialogue and action.
  21. The representation or exhibition of a comedy or tragedy; as, he attends ever play.
  22. Performance on an instrument of music.
  23. Motion; movement, regular or irregular; as, the play of a wheel or piston; hence, also, room for motion; free and easy action.
  24. Hence, liberty of acting; room for enlargement or display; scope; as, to give full play to mirth.

Play Quotations

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.
Albert Einstein

Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it.
Sai Baba

If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare
If music be the food of love, play on.
William Shakespeare

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. - Plato
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.
Babe Ruth
More "Play" Quotations

Play Translations

play in Afrikaans is speel
play in Danish is spille, lege
play in Dutch is uitvoeren, spelen, voorspelen
play in French is jouez, jeu, jouons, jouent
play in German is spielen, Spiel, Schauspiel, spielen, Spiel
play in Italian is giuocare, pezzo, giuoco, spettacolo
play in Latin is lascivio, fabula
play in Portuguese is jogo
play in Spanish is jugar, baraja, ta er
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