Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[hawrs-pley] /ˈhɔrsˌpleɪ/
rough or boisterous play or pranks.
Origin of horseplay
First recorded in 1580-90; horse + play
Related forms
horseplayful, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for horseplay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • David Griffith, let the child alone; he has not been used to your horseplay.'

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • But the steady concert of the snoring sleepers was unbroken by any horseplay.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • But the spirit of the whole controversy is in fact a spirit of horseplay.

  • Of course, there was some horseplay in which even Phil Franklin indulged.

  • There was a good deal of horseplay, and also something in the way of hazing.

    The Rover Boys at Colby Hall Arthur M. Winfield
  • But their usual escapades of horseplay are not to my taste—I prefer fighting to that.

    The Admiral Douglas Sladen
  • There was to be no giggling, no whispering in corners, nor was there to be any horseplay.

  • He was determined to break up the horseplay if it could possibly be accomplished.

    The Putnam Hall Encampment Arthur M. Winfield
British Dictionary definitions for horseplay


rough, boisterous, or rowdy 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for horseplay

"rough, excessive play," 1580s, from horse (n.) with its associations of "strong, coarse" + play (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for horseplay



Rough and boisterous playing; coarse physical merriment (1589+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for horseplay

Word Value for horseplay

Scrabble Words With Friends