To engage in sport or lively recreation; to exercise for the sake of amusement; to frolic; to spot.
To contend, or take part, in a game; as, to play ball; hence, to gamble; as, he played for heavy stakes.
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.
Amusement; sport; frolic; gambols.
Any exercise, or series of actions, intended for amusement or diversion; a game.
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.
Action; use; employment; exercise; practice; as, fair play; sword play; a play of wit.
the umpire's order to start the game or to resume action following any dead ball.
To strike the ball with a club. The action of playing the game of golf.
a segment of the football game; set of instructions where each position has a job to complete with the sole purpose of scoring.
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"
(in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds; "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
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"
participate in games or sport; "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"
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"
pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion; "On weekends I play"; "The students all recreate alike"
pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity; "Let's play like I am mommy"; "Play cowboy and Indians"
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"
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"
a continuous time segment when the ball is inside the field and the game is going on
a highly structured context or game, with absolute rules that heighten and intensify its action
a piece of art, and art comes from somebody with an urgency
Many young animals are observed to be "playful," a behavior pattern usually associated with "practicing" or preparing for such adult activities as catching and killing of prey, or dominance contests. Animal play, while not having any apparent "purpose," is sometimes explained as exercise or an innate honing of physical dexterity, both of which can be seen as serving an individual's future survival potential. Purple Martins commonly engage in flight play with the green leaves they discard from their nest cups after they have dried up. Martins will fly out of their nest compartment with a dried leaf in their beak, then repeatedly drop and recatch it in flight. Often, other colony members will join in and play "catch" with the leaf before it finally hits the ground and the game ends.
Zimmerman defines three categories of play: (1) the formal play of games; (2) ludic activities or non-game behaviors; (3) being playful in the context of other activities: "injecting the spirit of play" ("Narrative" 159).
The consensual acting out of a role or game, sometimes sexual.
To call or stay in the game.
Play is amusing interaction with people, animals, or toys, often in the context of learning or recreation.