play-off

[ pley-awf, -of ]
/ ˈpleɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

(in competitive sports) the playing of an extra game, rounds, innings, etc., in order to settle a tie.
a series of games or matches, as between the leading teams of two leagues, in order to decide a championship: In America the most exciting play-off is the World Series.

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Origin of play-off

First recorded in 1890–95; noun use of verb phrase play off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for play-off

play off

verb (adverb)

(tr usually foll by against) to deal with or manipulate as if in playing a gameto play one person off against another
(intr) to take part in a play-off

noun play-off

sport an extra contest to decide the winner when two or more competitors are tied
mainly US and Canadian a contest or series of games to determine a championship, as between the winners of two competitions
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

Idioms and Phrases with play-off

play off

1

See under play both ends against the middle.

2

Break a tie by playing an additional game or period, as in Each team had won three games so they had to play off the tie to decide the championship.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.