[ pley-akt ]
/ ˈpleɪˌækt /

verb (used without object)

to engage in make-believe.
to be insincere or affected in speech, manner, etc.: It's hard to get away with playacting with members of one's own family.
to perform in a play.

verb (used with object)

to dramatize (something): They playacted the movements of a burglar.


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Origin of playact

1895–1900; back formation from playacting; see play, act, -ing1


play·act·ing, nounplay·ac·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for play-act

British Dictionary definitions for play-act



(intr) to pretend or make believe
(intr) to behave in an overdramatic or affected manner
to act in or as in (a play)

Derived forms of play-act

play-acting, nounplay-actor, noun
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