[ pley-bak ]

  1. the act of reproducing a sound or video recording, especially in order to check a recording that is newly made.

  2. (in a recording device) the apparatus used in producing playbacks.

  1. the recording so played, especially the first time it is heard or viewed after being recorded.

  2. 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

Words Nearby playback Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use playback in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for playback


/ (ˈpleɪˌbæk) /

  1. the act or process of reproducing a recording, esp on magnetic tape

  2. the part of a tape recorder serving to reproduce or used for reproducing recorded material

  1. (modifier) of or relating to the reproduction of signals from a recording: the playback head of a tape recorder

verbplay back (adverb)
  1. 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with playback


Replay, especially a recorded performance; also, repeat. For example, When we played back the tape of the concert we noticed a lot of missed notes, or He uses the same material again and again, playing back his old speech. [Early 1900s]

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