[ bahy-pley ]
/ ˈbaɪˌpleɪ /
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an action or speech carried on to the side while the main action proceeds, especially on the stage.
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Origin of by-play
First recorded in 1805–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use by-play in a sentence
A 'byplay' bearing the same name follows an elegy upon the death of an only son.
Husband and wife "took turns" from the single cup; there was gayety and byplay.The Higher Court|Mary Stewart Daggett
Miss Gerald noticed this sentimental little byplay, but what Bob did was, of course, of no moment to her.Nothing But the Truth|Frederic S. Isham
It was pardonable in him not to have suspected earlier that there was some byplay of talk to whose meaning he was not privy.Find the Woman|Arthur Somers Roche
When this little byplay was over, they proceeded gravely to consider the matter before them.The Bravo|J. Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for by-play
secondary action or talking carried on apart while the main action proceeds, esp in 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