[pley-awf, -of]


(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.

Origin of play-off

First recorded in 1890–95; noun use of verb phrase play off Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for play-off

Historical Examples of play-off

  • And then for him to play-off like he did, and say he was calling at a neighbor's!

    Motor Matt's Clue

    Stanley R. Matthews

  • Just one mistake, made by “Fred” Merkle, resulted in this play-off game.

    Pitching in a Pinch

    Christy Mathewson

  • Then Dad came on the screen with a record player in front of them, and gave them a play-off of my interview with Leo Belsher.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Aristophanes referred to Cheropho as "Socrates' bat," a play-off on Minerva and her bird of night, the owl.

  • When Jimenez was ready, Rainsford pressed the play-off button, and for a minute the recorder gave a high, wavering squeak.

    Little Fuzzy

    Henry Beam Piper