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[pley-boo k] /ˈpleɪˌbʊk/
(in Elizabethan drama) the script of a play, used by the actors as an acting text.
a book containing the scripts of one or more plays.
Football. a notebook containing descriptions of all the plays and strategies used by a team, often accompanied by diagrams, issued to players for them to study and memorize before the season begins.
Informal. any plan or set of strategies, as for outlining a campaign in business or politics.
Origin of playbook
First recorded in 1525-35; play + book Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for playbook
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I say unto thee a playhouse is the school for the old dragon, and a playbook the primer of Belzebub.

    Wild Oats John O'Keeffe
  • The fable, as set forth in the playbook, proved to be unworthy of the scenes and characters: what fable would not?

  • I should like to see existing a playbook of “Hamlet” which has been altered and shortened by a joint board of actors and scholars.

  • Each had a playbook beside his plate, and they were apparently studying their parts for the morning performance.

British Dictionary definitions for playbook


a book containing a range of possible set plays
a notional range of possible tactics in any sphere of activity
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 playbook

also play-book, 1530s, "book of stage plays," from play (n.) + book (n.). Meaning "Book of football plays" recorded from 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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