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[noun mis-pley, mis-pley; verb mis-pley] /noun mɪsˈpleɪ, ˈmɪsˌpleɪ; verb mɪsˈpleɪ/ Sports, Games.
a wrong or bad play.
a play prohibited by the rules.
verb (used with object)
to make an error or incorrect play on or with; play wrongly:
The catcher misplayed the ball, allowing the base runner to score.
to make a play on or with (a card, chess piece, etc.) prohibited by the rules.
Origin of misplay
An Americanism dating back to 1865-70; mis-1 + play Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for misplay
Historical Examples
  • His misplay had taken his nerve, and for a while he went thoroughly to pieces.

    The Lucky Seventh Ralph Henry Barbour
  • This case is excluded from the definition of misplay, and the penalty exacted is less.

    Croquet Anonymous
  • If the coach counselled that misplay, his counsel was an error.

  • It was too good an opportunity to get a hold over the boy for Agno to misplay it.

    Jerry of the Islands Jack London
  • We lost at least fifty thousand dollars that afternoon by that one misplay.

    Baseball Joe on the Giants Lester Chadwick
  • Miss Erskine fidgeted in her seat, gave half smothered exclamations, looked at him appealingly at every misplay.

    In Her Own Right

    John Reed Scott
  • A year later and he had learned that a misplay, even though it lose the game for your side, may in time be lived down.

    The Half-Back

    Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for misplay


(transitive) to play badly or wrongly in games or sports: the batsman misplayed the ball
a wrong or unskilful 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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Word Origin and History for misplay

1889 in baseball context, from mis- (1) + play (n.). As a verb from 1824 (originally in music; 1842 in games). Related: Misplayed; misplaying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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