1: a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway" [syn: drama, dramatic play]
2: a theatrical performance of a drama; "the play lasted two hours"
3: a preset plan of action in team sports; "the coach drew up the plays for her team"
4: a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill; "he made a great maneuver"; "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop" [syn: maneuver, manoeuvre]
5: a state in which action is feasible; "the ball was still in play"; "insiders said the company's stock was in play"
6: utilization or exercise; "the play of the imagination"
7: an attempt to get something; "they made a futile play for power"; "he made a bid to gain attention" [syn: bid]
8: play by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules; "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child" [syn: child's play]
9: (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]
10: the removal of constraints; "he gave free rein to his impulses"; "they gave full play to the artist's talent" [syn: free rein]
11: a weak and tremulous light; "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers"; "the play of light on the water" [syn: shimmer]
12: verbal wit (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun" [syn: fun, sport]
13: movement or space for movement; "there was too much play in the steering wheel" [syn: looseness] [ant: tightness]
14: 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]
15: 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]
16: the activity of doing something in an agreed succession; "it is my turn"; "it is still my play" [syn: turn]
17: the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully [syn: swordplay]
1: participate in games or sport; "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
2: 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 on an instrument; "The band played all night long"
4: 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" [syn: act, represent]
5: 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: replay (as a melody); "Play it again, Sam"; "She played the third movement very beautifully" [syn: spiel]
7: perform music on (a musical instrument); "He plays the flute"; "Can you play on this old recorder?"
8: pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad" [syn: act, act as]
9: move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly; "The spotlights played on the politicians"
10: bet or wager (money); "He played $20 on the new horse"; "She plays the races"
11: engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion; "On weekends I play"; "The students all recreate alike" [syn: recreate]
12: 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: emit recorded sound; "The tape was playing for hours"; "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"
14: perform on a certain location; "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"; "She has been playing on Broadway for years"
15: 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: engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously; "They played games on their opponents"; "play the stockmarket"; "play with her feelings"; "toy with an idea" [syn: toy]
17: behave in a certain way; "play safe"; "play it safe"; "play fair"
18: cause to emit recorded sounds; "They ran the tapes over and over again"; "Can you play my favorite record?" [syn: run]
19: 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" [syn: toy, fiddle, diddle]
20: use to one's advantage; "She plays on her clients' emotions"
21: consider not very seriously; "He is trifling with her"; "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania" [syn: dally, trifle]
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"
23: behave carelessly or indifferently; "Play about with a young girl's affection" [syn: dally, toy, flirt]
24: cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space; "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
25: 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]
26: be performed; "What's playing in the local movie theater?"; "`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"
27: 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]
28: 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: make bets; "Play the reaces"; "play the casinos in Trouville"
30: 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]
31: shoot or hit in a particular manner; "She played a good backhand last night"
32: use or move; "I had to play my queen"
33: employ in a game or in a specific position; "They played him on first base"
34: 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]
35: exhaust by allowing to pull on the line; "play a hooked fish"
Adjacent words: plausible | plausibleness | plausibly | plausive | Plautus | Plautus alle | Plavix | play | play a joke on | play a trick on | play along | play around | play back | play down | play false | play group