• Nino sings and plays guitar
    Nino sings and plays guitar
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v play 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"
    • v play pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind "He acted the idiot","She plays deaf when the news are bad"
    • v play exhaust by allowing to pull on the line "play a hooked fish"
    • v play consider not very seriously "He is trifling with her","She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"
    • v play participate in games or sport "We played hockey all afternoon","play cards","Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
    • v play contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle "Princeton plays Yale this weekend","Charlie likes to play Mary"
    • v play employ in a game or in a specific position "They played him on first base"
    • v play use or move "I had to play my queen"
    • v play shoot or hit in a particular manner "She played a good backhand last night"
    • v play bet or wager (money) "He played $20 on the new horse","She plays the races"
    • v play 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"
    • v play stake on the outcome of an issue "I bet $100 on that new horse","She played all her money on the dark horse"
    • v play make bets "Play the races","play the casinos in Trouville"
    • v play use to one's advantage "She plays on her clients' emotions"
    • v play discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream "play water from a hose","The fountains played all day"
    • v play 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"
    • v play 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"
    • v play perform on a certain location "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16","She has been playing on Broadway for years"
    • v play be performed or presented for public viewing "What's playing in the local movie theater?","`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"
    • v play 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"
    • v play emit recorded sound "The tape was playing for hours","the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"
    • v play 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"
    • v play perform on a stage or theater "She acts in this play","He acted in `Julius Caesar'","I played in `A Christmas Carol'"
    • v play pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity "Let's play like I am mommy","Play cowboy and Indians"
    • v play replay (as a melody) "Play it again, Sam","She played the third movement very beautifully"
    • v play play on an instrument "The band played all night long"
    • v play perform music on (a musical instrument) "He plays the flute","Can you play on this old recorder?"
    • v play move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly "The spotlights played on the politicians"
    • v play cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"
    • v play 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"
    • v play engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion "On weekends I play","The students all recreate alike"
    • v play 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"
    • v play behave carelessly or indifferently "Play about with a young girl's affection"
    • v play behave in a certain way "play safe","play it safe","play fair"
    • v play 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"
    • n play the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
    • n play 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"
    • n play activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"
    • n play (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession "it is my turn","it is still my play"
    • n play 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"
    • n play a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill "he made a great maneuver","the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"
    • n play a preset plan of action in team sports "the coach drew up the plays for her team"
    • n play an attempt to get something "they made a futile play for power","he made a bid to gain attention"
    • n play utilization or exercise "the play of the imagination"
    • n play movement or space for movement "there was too much play in the steering wheel"
    • n play 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"
    • n play a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"
    • n play a theatrical performance of a drama "the play lasted two hours"
    • n play a weak and tremulous light "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers","the play of light on the water"
    • n play the removal of constraints "he gave free rein to his impulses","they gave full play to the artist's talent"
    • n play a state in which action is feasible "the ball was still in play","insiders said the company's stock was in play"
    • n play (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Greek Girls Playing at Ball Greek Girls Playing at Ball
The princess sits on a rock, playing her violin The princess sits on a rock, playing her violin
A kitten tries to play with its shadow A kitten tries to play with its shadow
A kitten plays with a reel of thread A kitten plays with a reel of thread
A kitten plays with a ball of wool A kitten plays with a ball of wool

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bank robber John Dillinger played professional baseball
    • Play A dramatic composition; a comedy or tragedy; a composition in which characters are represented by dialogue and action. "A play ought to be a just image of human nature."
    • Play Action; use; employment; exercise; practice; as, fair play; sword play; a play of wit. "The next who comes in play ."
    • Play Amusement; sport; frolic; gambols.
    • Play Any exercise, or series of actions, intended for amusement or diversion; a game. "John naturally loved rough play ."
    • Play Hence, liberty of acting; room for enlargement or display; scope; as, to give full play to mirth. "I, with two more to help me,
      Will hold the foe in play ."
    • Play Motion; movement, regular or irregular; as, the play of a wheel or piston; hence, also, room for motion; free and easy action. "To give them play , front and rear.""The joints are let exactly into one another, that they have no play between them."
    • Play Performance on an instrument of music.
    • Play 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 .
    • Play The representation or exhibition of a comedy or tragedy; as, he attends ever play .
    • Play To act on the stage; to personate a character. "A lord will hear your play to-night.""Courts are theaters where some men play ."
    • Play 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. "Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt."
    • Play To act with levity or thoughtlessness; to trifle; to be careless. "“Nay,” quod this monk, “I have no lust to pleye .”""Men are apt to play with their healths."
    • Play To act; to behave; to practice deception. "His mother played false with a smith."
    • Play To bring into sportive or wanton action; to exhibit in action; to execute; as, to play tricks. "Nature here
      Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will
      Her virgin fancies."
    • Play To contend, or take part, in a game; as, to play ball; hence, to gamble; as, he played for heavy stakes.
    • Play To engage in sport or lively recreation; to exercise for the sake of amusement; to frolic; to spot. "As Cannace was playing in her walk.""The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
      Had he thy reason, would he skip and play !"
      "And some, the darlings of their Lord, Play smiling with the flame and sword."
    • Play 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.
    • Play To keep in play, as a hooked fish, in order to land it.
    • Play To move gayly; to wanton; to disport. "Even as the waving sedges play with wind.""The setting sun Plays on their shining arms and burnished helmets.""All fame is foreign but of true desert, Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart."
    • Play To move in any manner; especially, to move regularly with alternate or reciprocating motion; to operate; to act; as, the fountain plays . "The heart beats, the blood circulates, the lungs play ."
    • Play To perform music upon; as, to play the flute or the organ.
    • Play To perform on an instrument of music; as, to play on a flute. "One that . . . can play well on an instrument.""Play , my friend, and charm the charmer."
    • Play To perform, as a piece of music, on an instrument; as, to play a waltz on the violin.
    • Play To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. "First Peace and Silence all disputes control,
      Then Order plays the soul."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Brazil is the only country to have played in every World Cup soccer tournament.
    • play To move lightly and quickly; move with a brisk, lively, and more or less irregular and capricious motion, as water in waves or in a fountain, light and shadow on agitated water, leaves in the wind, tremulous flames, etc.; flutter; flicker; dart; dance; in mech., to move freely.
    • play To engage in active exercise; exercise or contend in any way, but especially with weapons; technically, to contend with swords or sticks; fence: said of persons.
    • play To contend in a game of skill or chance: as, to play at chess or cards; specifically, to gamble.
    • play To engage in exercise or occupation of any kind for diversion, amusement, or recreation; amuse one's self, as with games or diversion, or with any occupation which is not a task or for profit; sport; frolic; gambol.
    • play To take part in a game or games; join in sport or frolic: as, to play with the children.
    • play To act thoughtlessly or wantonly; trifle; toy; dally.
    • play To act; behave; deal: as, to play fair or false.
    • play To act on the stage; personate a character.
    • play To perform on an instrument of music: as, to play on a flute or a violin.
    • play To operate or act with continuous blows or strokes, or with repeated action: as, the cannon played on the enemy's works; the firemen played upon the burning building.
    • play To give a humorous or fanciful turn to: as, to play upon words.
    • play To play (music) more vigorously.
    • play Synonyms To gambol, romp, caper, frisk.
    • play To divert or amuse with or as with sports or pastimes: used reflexively.
    • play To take part as a contestant in (a game or pastime engaged in at a particular time and place); also, to be in the habit of engaging in (a particular kind of game), be able to join in (it), or be skilled in (it): as, to play a rubber of whist; to play a round of golf; he does not play chess, but he can play billiards.
    • play To engage in a game, contest, or competition with.
    • play To put forward, move, throw, or lay on the table, etc., in carrying on a game or contest: as, play a swift ball: to play the knave of clubs.
    • play To use as a plaything; trifle or fool with.
    • play To manœuver; handle or play with, as a hooked fish in angling.
    • play To produce music from; perform upon: as, to play the flute or the organ.
    • play To perform on a musical instrument; execute: as, to play a tune.
    • play To operate or cause to operate with continuous or repeated action; put into and keep in action: as, to play the hose on a burning building.
    • play To give out or discharge freely: as, to play a steady stream.
    • play To perform or act on the stage; represent in character with appropriate action and accessories: as, to play a comedy.
    • play To take or assume the rôle of; act the part or perform the duties of; act or behave like: as, to play Hamlet; to play the tyrant; to play the hostess.
    • play To do; operate; enact; perform: as, to play tricks; to play a part.
    • play To use; apply; ply.
    • play To make a pretense of; make believe: as, children play being devoured by lions.
    • play Exhausted and brought to land or killed, as a fish that has been played.
    • n play Brisk or free motion; movement, whether regular or irregular: as, the play of water in a fountain; the play of a wheel or piston; hence, freedom or room for motion.
    • n play Liberty and room for action or display; scope; swing; ease or freedom in performance.
    • n play Action; use; employment.
    • n play Active exercise; especially, exercise in trial of skill: as, sword-play.
    • n play Any exercise intended for recreation, amusement, or pleasure; a game or sport, such as cricket, foot-ball, curling, skittles, quoits, graces, etc.
    • n play Amusement, diversion, recreation, or pastime; sport; frolic; fun; merry-making: as, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
    • n play Fun; jest; sport: opposed to earnest: as, it was done in play.
    • n play Gaming; the practice of contending for amusement, or for wager, as at dice, cards, billiards, etc.: as, to lose money at play.
    • n play A dramatic composition; a literary composition in which characters are represented by dialogue and action; a written tragedy, comedy, or other such production intended for representation on the stage.
    • n play Representation or exhibition of a comedy, tragedy, or other form of drama; dramatic performance.
    • n play Style or manner of playing; style of performing or executing a play or game; execution; performance; skill: as, he made clever play with the foils.
    • n play Manner of acting or dealing, or of treating another: as, fair play; foul play.
    • n play A country wake.
    • n play Pastime.
    • play A variant of plaw.
    • play To follow another successfully, with apparent sympathy, in his vein or mood from the theatrical use.
    • play In base-ball, foot-ball, and similar games, to place (a player) in a certain position.
    • play To accompany in action with music.
    • n play A method or manner of performing on a musical instrument, especially as regards the action of the hands. See close play.
    • n play The act or an act of playing (in a game); a separate act of playing.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Albany, New York, you cannot play golf in the streets.
    • v.i Play plā to engage in some amusing exercise: to take part in a game, or a piece of diversion: to gamble: to sport: to trifle: to move irregularly or (mech.) freely: to operate: to act in a theatre: to perform on a musical instrument: to practise a trick: to act a character: to act with repeated strokes
    • v.t Play to put in motion: to perform upon: to perform: to act a sportive part: to compete with
    • n Play amusement: any exercise for amusement: a contending for victory or for a prize: practice in a contest: gaming: action or use: manner of dealing, as fair-play: a dramatic composition: movement: room for action or motion: liberty of action
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.”
  • Sir Richard Burton
    Sir Richard Burton
    “When I played drunks I had to remain sober because I didn't know how to play them when I was drunk.”
  • Chuck Olson
    Chuck Olson
    “Playing safe is only playing.”
  • Louis Armstrong
    Louis Armstrong
    “What we play is life.”
  • Miles Davis
    Miles Davis
    “Don't play what's there, play what's not there.”
  • Ivan Lendl
    Ivan Lendl
    “If I don't practice the way I should, then I won't play the way that I know I can.”


Child's play - If something is child's play, it is very easy and simple.
Clutch play - If an activity is referred to as a clutch play, it means that the activity was the key to the success or failure of the venture. For instance, a clutch play in a baseball game may be striking out a batter with the bases loaded.
Foul play - If the police suspect foul play, they think a crime was committed.
Go play in traffic - This is used as a way of telling someone to go away.
Play ball - If you play ball, you agree to do what someone asks you to do, or to agree to work with someone in order to achieve something together (often negative)
Play by ear - If you play by ear, you deal with something in an impromptu manner, without guidelines or rules. It refers to playing music without using written notation.
Play fast and loose - If people play fast and loose, they behave in an irresponsible way and don't respect rules, etc.
Play for keeps - If you are playing for keeps, you take things very seriously and the outcome is very important to you; it is not a mere game.
Play for time - If you play for time, you delay something because because you are not ready or need more time to thing about it. Eg. I knew I had to play for time until the police arrived.
Play hard to get - If someone plays hard to get, they pretend not to be interewsted or attracted by someone, usually to make the other person increase their efforts.
Play hardball - If someone plays hardball, they are very aggressive in trying to achieve their aim.
Play havoc - Playing havoc with something is creating disorder and confusion; computer viruses can play havoc with your programs.
Play hooky - If people play hooky, they don't attend school when they should and don't have a valid reason for their absence.
Play into someone's hands - If you play into someone's hands, you do what they were expecting you to do and take advantage of this.
Play it by ear - If you play it by ear, you don't have a plan of action, but decide what to do as events take shape.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin to plega, play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan, to promise, pledge, D. plegen, to care for, attend to, be wont, G. pflegen,; of unknown origin. √28. Cf. Plight (n.)


In literature:

I swear I didn't mean anything by looking at those plays ... but you've an idea that I did.
"Interference and Other Football Stories" by Harold M. Sherman
But what I have thus named a fault is mostly theoretical, and does not mar the effective appeal of the play.
"The Lonely Way--Intermezzo--Countess Mizzie" by Arthur Schnitzler
But he played, played furiously, and he smote the keyboard as if he hated it.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
I'm going to be a dramatist and write plays!
"Changing Winds" by St. John G. Ervine
Such plays were called 'moral plays' or 'moralities.
"An Introduction to Shakespeare" by H. N. MacCracken
You want to play in my establishment and start off with playing me.
"The German Classics, v. 20" by Various
She knew that when she played she was giving pleasure only to herself; but this was no new sensation.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
Another way to play "Up Jenkins" is to have the players, equally divided, sit opposite each other at a table.
"What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Madame Tilsit knew better, if the child wanted to play, why, let her play.
"Camilla: A Tale of a Violin" by Charles Barnard
Well, you've played one trick too many, and you've played it in vain.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser

In poetry:

A sweet sad smile plays on her lips;
Her heart is far away,
And thus she sits till twilight comes
To take the place of day.
"Alexander And Zenobia" by Anne Bronte
Alciphron. I like the shepherds very well,
And song and play, as you can tell.
But there is play, I sadly fear,
And song I would not have you hear.
"Alciphron and Leucippe" by Walter Savage Landor
"Why do I smile--Tra-la-la-la-la!
Working the while?--Tra-la-la-la-la!
Work like this is play,--
So I'm playing all the day--
I can not help but smile!
"Song" by James Whitcomb Riley
The sunny playing of our childhood
At the green foot of Elbours,
The starry playing of our youth
Beyond the flowery fences,
These sigh their lost delights
Within your belt.
"Vengeance" by Edward Powys Mathers
She played — The tinkling sheep-bells filled the glade,
A thrush's song was in the air;
The water elms threw speckled shade,
Wild flowers were blooming everywhere,
The while she played.
"A Memory Tone" by James Edwin Campbell
"If you come a-maying, a-straying, a-playing,
We will pluck the little flowers, enough for you and me;
And when the day dies, end our one day's playing,
Give a kiss and take a kiss and go home free."
"May Day" by Edith Nesbit

In news:

For two straight plays - two critical, gutsy plays.
Runner's World and Running Times team up to give you great play-by-play coverage of the New York City Marathon.
The work will play in rotating repertory with the Frank Wedekind play Spring's Awakening, which is set to begin Oct 8.
It offers a play mode, edit mode, and you-play mode.
Goodman Theatre's New Stages Amplified amps up its play-development series with three new plays.
To start a video, press the play button in the bottom left corner of the video window, and it should start playing.
DECATUR TOWNSHIP One play in Wednesday's nonconference basketball gave a glimpse into the game Lexus Murry was playing.
The 49ers have announced that former defensive back Eric Davis is the team's new radio color man, working alongside play-by-play caller Ted Robinson.
Comet, plays the coach in the show, and he is the first to say that Rudolph won't play in any reindeer games.
Shurmur didn't want to talk about his plans for the game beyond saying some starters won't play and others might play a short time.
But he also knew that if the Oilers played their best game, the Wings would be playing their last.
The coach played it off as no big deal, but I guess we'll see about that when Arizona plays USC at 5:30 pm on Saturday.
Having played John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and a White House adviser, Martin Sheen seemed like the perfect choice to play the US president in The West Wing.
Mark Pincus on playing games, playing soccer and running Zynga.
UCLA doesn't play around with concussions prince, concussion, practice, game, didn, playing, lee, players, days, hard.

In science:

Definition 5.42 [Non local bundle] A non local bundle B consists of a flower graph which plays the rˆole of the basis, (i.e. a unital associative algebra embedding into its Markov L-coalgebra) and a coassociative coalgebra which plays the rˆole of a fiber space.
Coassociativity breaking and oriented graphs
Formula (10) plays for the Virasoro algebra the role that Wick’s theorem plays for belong to N+ while GfB and Gf eB collections of harmonic oscillators.
Conformal field theories in random domains and stochastic Loewner evolutions
We believe that this result is a strong indication that united K -theory should play the same role for real C*-algebras that complex K -theory plays for complex C*-algebras, especially for any classification theorems for real C*-algebras.
The Range of United K-Theory
For this we apply Lemma 2 with the role of α played by β ′ and the role of r played by any r ′ > 1 chosen to be less than min{β ′ /β , 2 − dβ ′ }.
Random Multiplication Approaches Uniform Measure in Finite Groups
Before the (t + 1)th step is played, there are either 0 or 1 partially determined vertices at level h − 1 (that is, vertices that are undetermined but for which a leaf below them has been played).
Random-Turn Hex and other selection games