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[pley-bak] /ˈpleɪˌbæk/
the act of reproducing a sound or video recording, especially in order to check a recording that is newly made.
(in a recording device) the apparatus used in producing playbacks.
the recording so played, especially the first time it is heard or viewed after being recorded.
the response to a suggestion, act, product, venture, etc.; feedback:
The playback on the speech has been very favorable.
Origin of playback
First recorded in 1925-30; noun use of verb phrase play back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for playback
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gentlemen, listen to this playback and then I'll have Dr. Forster here go on from there.

  • Sam Bending took the tape from the playback and returned it to his files.

    Damned If You Don't Gordon Randall Garrett
  • I don't know what I said, if anything, and the suit recorder has no playback or eraser.

    Accidental Death Peter Baily
  • Doer Kweiros flipped off the playback and gazed at the unresponsive wall.

    Indirection Everett B. Cole
  • Shakily, he removed his headband and snapped the playback off.

    Indirection Everett B. Cole
  • It was all beyond Ellaby, who was still weary from the playback ordeals.

    The Dictator Milton Lesser
  • She crossed the room to the ComWeb stand and switched on the playback.

    Lion Loose James H. Schmitz
  • I looked for something to play them with, but there was no sign of a playback machine.

    The Old Die Rich Horace Leonard Gold
  • They were standing on opposite sides of the table and between them the playback machine had fallen silent.

    The Record of Currupira Robert Abernathy
British Dictionary definitions for playback


the act or process of reproducing a recording, esp on magnetic tape
the part of a tape recorder serving to reproduce or used for reproducing recorded material
(modifier) of or relating to the reproduction of signals from a recording: the playback head of a tape recorder
verb (adverb)
to reproduce (recorded material) on (a magnetic tape) by means of a tape recorder
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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