Idioms for play

Origin of play

before 900; (noun) Middle English pleye, Old English plega; (v.) Middle English pleyen, Old English pleg(i)an (cognate with Middle Dutch pleien to leap for joy, dance, rejoice, be glad)

SYNONYMS FOR play

2 show.
3 diversion, pastime. Play, game, sport refer to forms of diverting activity. Play is the general word for any such form of activity, often undirected, spontaneous, or random: Childhood should be a time for play. Game refers to a recreational contest, mental or physical, usually governed by set rules: a game of chess. Besides referring to an individual contest, game may refer to a pastime as a whole: Golf is a good game. If, however, the pastime is one (usually an outdoor one) depending chiefly on physical strength, though not necessarily a contest, the word sport is applied: Football is a vigorous sport.
18, 19 liberty.
23 enact.
25 personate, impersonate.
30 use.
32 bet.
33 back.
45 sport, frolic, romp, revel.
47 dally.

OTHER WORDS FROM play

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for play on (1 of 2)

play on

verb (intr)

(adverb) to continue to play
Also: play upon (preposition) to exploit or impose upon (the feelings or weakness of another) to one's own advantage
(adverb) cricket to hit the ball into one's own wicket

British Dictionary definitions for play on (2 of 2)

play
/ (pleɪ) /

verb

noun

Derived forms of play

playability, nounplayable, adjective

Word Origin for play

Old English plega (n), plegan (vb); related to Middle Dutch pleyen
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 on (1 of 2)

play on

Also, play upon. Take advantage of or make use of for a desired effect, as in These health care ads are meant to play on our fears. This idiom uses play in the sense of “performing on an instrument.” Shakespeare used it in Hamlet (3:2): “You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops.” [Late 1500s]

Idioms and Phrases with play on (2 of 2)

play

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