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90s Slang You Should Know


or byplay

[bahy-pley] /ˈbaɪˌpleɪ/
an action or speech carried on to the side while the main action proceeds, especially on the stage.
Origin of by-play
First recorded in 1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for by-play
Historical Examples
  • Jean Sawyer had also witnessed this by-play and he felt a sense of great disappointment.

    Meg of Mystery Mountain Grace May North
  • None of this by-play was lost upon Laurence, but he showed no consciousness.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • His father, never saying a word, sat there puffing at his pipe, watching silently all the by-play.

    Wang the Ninth Putnam Weale
  • Captain Dawson showed less interest in this by-play than the others.

    A Waif of the Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • But the young man whom these glances mostly concerned, saw nothing of the by-play which was to influence his future.

    A Woman's Burden Fergus Hume
  • The others were too interested in what was going on before them to observe the by-play.

    Up the Forked River Edward Sylvester Ellis
  • This might have been by-play; if so, it was successful; every countenance not sympathetic was serious.

  • The mother was too agitated to notice this by-play, but kept watch for her husband.

    The Young Ranchers Edward S. Ellis
  • The lieutenant watched this by-play, full of sympathy 272 for the girl, but he was in a quandary.

    A Waif of the Mountains Edward S. Ellis
  • The by-play seemed to him to be very suitable, and he bought a morning paper.

    Dodo, Volumes 1 and 2 Edward Frederic Benson
British Dictionary definitions for by-play


secondary action or talking carried on apart while the main action proceeds, esp in a play
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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