the act of reproducing a sound or video recording, especially in order to check a recording that is newly made.
(in a recording device) the apparatus used in producing playbacks.
the recording so played, especially the first time it is heard or viewed after being recorded.
the response to a suggestion, act, product, venture, etc.; feedback: The playback on the speech has been very favorable.

Origin of playback

First recorded in 1925–30; noun use of verb phrase play back Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for playback

Contemporary Examples of playback

Historical Examples of playback

  • Gentlemen, listen to this playback and then I'll have Dr. Forster here go on from there.

  • Sam Bending took the tape from the playback and returned it to his files.

    Damned If You Don't

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • I don't know what I said, if anything, and the suit recorder has no playback or eraser.

    Accidental Death

    Peter Baily

  • Doer Kweiros flipped off the playback and gazed at the unresponsive wall.


    Everett B. Cole

  • Shakily, he removed his headband and snapped the playback off.


    Everett B. Cole

British Dictionary definitions for playback



the act or process of reproducing a recording, esp on magnetic tape
the part of a tape recorder serving to reproduce or used for reproducing recorded material
(modifier) of or relating to the reproduction of signals from a recordingthe playback head of a tape recorder

verb play back (adverb)

to reproduce (recorded material) on (a magnetic tape) by means of a tape recorder
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