[ noun mis-pley, mis-pley; verb mis-pley ]

  1. a wrong or bad play.

  2. a play prohibited by the rules.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make an error or incorrect play on or with; play wrongly: The catcher misplayed the ball, allowing the base runner to score.

  2. to make a play on or with (a card, chess piece, etc.) prohibited by the rules.

Origin of misplay

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; mis-1 + play

Words Nearby misplay

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use misplay in a sentence

  • Miss Erskine fidgeted in her seat, gave half smothered exclamations, looked at him appealingly at every misplay.

    In Her Own Right | John Reed Scott
  • A year later and he had learned that a misplay, even though it lose the game for your side, may in time be lived down.

    The Half-Back | Ralph Henry Barbour
  • His misplay had taken his nerve, and for a while he went thoroughly to pieces.

    The Lucky Seventh | Ralph Henry Barbour
  • If a player misplay, whether with his own or another ball, he forfeits his next tour.

    Croquet | Anonymous
  • This case is excluded from the definition of misplay, and the penalty exacted is less.

    Croquet | Anonymous

British Dictionary definitions for misplay


/ (ˌmɪsˈpleɪ) /

  1. (tr) to play badly or wrongly in games or sports: the batsman misplayed the ball

  1. a wrong or unskilful 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