[noun in-ter-pley; verb in-ter-pley, in-ter-pley]


reciprocal relationship, action, or influence: the interplay of plot and character.

verb (used without object)

to exert influence on each other.

Origin of interplay

First recorded in 1860–65; inter- + play Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for interplay

Contemporary Examples of interplay

Historical Examples of interplay

  • And the interplay of the two might, had Germany held aloof, have led to a compromise.

    England and Germany

    Emile Joseph Dillon

  • She was the one and he was the other, and there was an interplay of forces between them.

  • Who suffered most during this five minutes in hell, in this interplay of feelings?

    Zones of the Spirit

    August Strindberg

  • Head and hands best co-operate in this interplay of services.

    Concord Days

    A. Bronson Alcott

  • The play and interplay of force and matter we call "evolution."

British Dictionary definitions for interplay



reciprocal and mutual action and reaction, as in circumstances, events, or personal relations
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

Word Origin and History for interplay

1862, from inter- + play. "Reciprocal play," thus "free interaction."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper