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[pley-bil] /ˈpleɪˌbɪl/
a program or announcement of a play.
Origin of playbill
1665-75; play + bill1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for play-bill
Historical Examples
  • Irene whispered back to me with a faint movement of the play-bill toward the beautiful stranger.

  • He must remember to ask Gidney for a copy of the play-bill to hang up in his flat!

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • There is in existence a play-bill of 1833 showing that he superintended a private performance of Clari.

    Charles Dickens and Music James T. Lightwood
  • But she passed him over the play-bill, and lifted the glasses to show him where they were.

    Love and Lucy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • The exercise of the fan ceased in the front rows, glasses of lemonade were held untasted, and nobody consulted the play-bill.

  • She and Dodo then had a talk to arrange what Dodo called the "play-bill."

    Dodo, Volumes 1 and 2 Edward Frederic Benson
  • I thought, my cheeks burning, my eyes fastened upon the play-bill.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • It is easier to read the Klner Zeitung than the play-bill of Vauxhall.

  • Let them come in as they do at the play, when you have no play-bill.

    How To Do It Edward Everett Hale
  • The play-bill suggested the sort of training they received there.

    The Children of the Poor Jacob A. Riis
British Dictionary definitions for play-bill


a poster or bill advertising a play
the programme of 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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Word Origin and History for play-bill

also playbill, 1670s, from play (n.) + bill (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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