(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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use play-off in a sentence
Just one mistake, made by “Fred” Merkle, resulted in this play-off game.Pitching in a Pinch | Christy Mathewson
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
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
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
Standing in the center of the room, he would make an appeal to us in his earnest, inimitable way, not to play off-side.Football Days | William H. Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for play off
(tr usually foll by against) to deal with or manipulate as if in playing a game: to play one person off against another
(intr) to take part in a 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with play-off
See under play both ends against the middle.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.