• a Dwarf Playing With Cynocephali and A Tame Ibis
    a Dwarf Playing With Cynocephali and A Tame Ibis
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n playing the action of taking part in a game or sport or other recreation
    • n playing the act of playing a musical instrument
    • n playing the performance of a part or role in a drama
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Scorpion, in act of "playing." Scorpion, in act of "playing."
Nino sings and plays guitar Nino sings and plays guitar
Piper playing to two dancing sheep Piper playing to two dancing sheep
Greek Girls Playing at Ball Greek Girls Playing at Ball
Playing Poker Playing Poker
How you used to play Pilgrim's Progress How you used to play Pilgrim's Progress
Wolsey is served food and wine while minstrels play Wolsey is served food and wine while minstrels play

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The name "Lego" came from the Danish word LEg Godt, which means "play well."
    • Playing a. & vb. n. of Play.
    • ***


  • Walter Cronkite
    Walter Cronkite
    “I asked [my doctors] if I'd be able to play singles tennis and they said I could. That made me very happy since I haven't played in five years.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Commerce is a game of skill which everyone cannot play and few can play well.”
  • Eileen Caddy
    “Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it.”
  • Michael Jordan
    Michael Jordan
    “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”
  • Dianne Feinstein
    Dianne Feinstein
    “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
  • Ray Floyd
    Ray Floyd
    “If I play my best, I can win anywhere in the world against anybody.”


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.


In literature:

There are plays and plays, just as there is acting and acting.
"Our Stage and Its Critics" by "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"
Unquestionably it is piano-playing; but what playing!
"Piano and Song" by Friedrich Wieck
They come, that is, to play in the way that I understand and that I enjoy play!
"The Chink in the Armour" by Marie Belloc Lowndes
Four married couples played a "mixed double" tennis tournament, a man and a lady always playing against a man and a lady.
"Amusements in Mathematics" by Henry Ernest Dudeney
And when we come to some other plays this feeling increases.
"Shakespearean Tragedy" by A. C. Bradley
His son trotted back beside him to the stable and played with a puppy while the roan was being fed.
"The Sheriff's Son" by William MacLeod Raine
It is the second scene of the third act of the play.
"Public Speaking" by Clarence Stratton
All the children in the neighborhood were out playing.
"Maida's Little Shop" by Inez Haynes Irwin
She was playing on the violin when the maid let me in, and how she can play!
"Grace Harlowe's Junior Year at High School" by Jessie Graham Flower
He began playing, and, as if exasperated at the challenge implied by her refusal, he played in his old form.
"Visionaries" by James Huneker

In poetry:

Sing a little, play a little,
Laugh a little; for
Life is so extremely brittle,
Who would think of more?
"Things Of Clay" by Gamaliel Bradford
The very best!
Ah, child so tired of play,
I stand confessed:
I want to come thy way,
And share thy rest.
"The Dead Child" by Ernest Christopher Dowson
Love your little school-mates,
Be gentle in your play,
Be kind to your teachers,
And their commands obey.
"Advice to Little Children" by Julia A Moore
She sat here in her chair,
Smiling into the fire;
He who played stood there,
Bowing it higher and higher.
"The Self-Unseeing" by Thomas Hardy
Are you weary of the searching
For the Root of ill,
That you, like an idle urchin,
Play at sitting still ?
"The Patrol And The Gold-Digger" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
The lovely vision melts away;
I am a child no more;
Work rises from the floor of play;
Duty is at the door.
"Songs of the Winter Nights" by George MacDonald

In news:

Texas Rangers play-by-play voice Steve Busby spoke with "Galloway and Company" on KESN-FM about the team, and touched on a number of topics.
His play by play anchors the most successful team on TV.
Peter Facinelli, who plays Dr Carlisle Cullen, and Edi Gathegi who plays Laurent, will be at the event and available for meet-and-greets.
If Tyler Van Tubbergen leads WMU to a win at Buffalo Saturday and Carder is capable of playing in the regular season finale against Eastern Michigan – the last regular season game of Carder 's collegiate career – who plays.
He played basketball and played it very well during his undergraduate days at.
When child's play isn't always child's play.
Katie Holmes hits the Broadway stage once more next month in Dead Accounts -- and in a new TV ad for the comedy, she gets silly and affectionate with costar Norbert Leo Butz, who plays her brother in the play.
Skin color plays no role in Bartlett High play.
You know President Obama took British Prime Minister David Cameron to what might have been the most poorly played high-profile basketball game imaginable, the NCAA Tournament play-in game.
Jozy Altidore and former MLS standout Yura Movsisyan (who plays for Russia's Krasnodar) share the scoring lead for players playing in Europe's top leagues with eight goals, but another player with US ties can top that.
After not playing for a full week, the question was could Washington maintain the quality of play that had given it eight straight wins to finish off its regular season.
As the campaigns wind down, it is worth noting how each side is playing the obviously 'in play', Iowa.
Her new play, Poor Behavior, just received its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum, and two more of her plays are slated to premiere in the next six months: Seminar, on Broadway starring Alan Rickman, in the fall.
THE DOCTOR IS IN — Charlie Brown, played by John Myers, takes advice from Lucy, played by Rebecca Roudebush.
Lang is now playing right tackle, and backup Evan Dietrich-Smith is playing for Lang at left guard.

In science:

S is a marginal surface, ∗1 its area form, L is the Lie derivative, ξ is a generating vector of the trapping horizon, τ its normal dual36,37,38 , and k and ψ are certain vectors which play the role normally played by Killing vectors.
Dynamics of black holes
One of the ideas he played with was the existence of extra spatial dimensions, and these play a key role in string theory.
Physics Beyond the Standard Model
The conditions (a), (b) and (d), as seen in the previous remark, are rather weak, but they play an essential role in the proofs, and (b) also plays a crucial role in some of the statements.
Testing for common arrivals of jumps for discretely observed multidimensional processes
Duplicate papers here play the role that multiple discoveries made by researchers of different “reputation” play in Merton’s original analysis.
The impact factor's Matthew effect: a natural experiment in bibliometrics
So the role non-Gaussianities play for the very early universe is similar to the role colliders play for particle physics.
Primordial Non-Gaussianities from Inflation Models