[pley-boo k]


(in Elizabethan drama) the script of a play, used by the actors as an acting text.
a book containing the scripts of one or more plays.
Football. a notebook containing descriptions of all the plays and strategies used by a team, often accompanied by diagrams, issued to players for them to study and memorize before the season begins.
Informal. any plan or set of strategies, as for outlining a campaign in business or politics.

Origin of playbook

First recorded in 1525–35; play + book Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for playbook

Contemporary Examples of playbook

Historical Examples of playbook

  • I say unto thee a playhouse is the school for the old dragon, and a playbook the primer of Belzebub.

    Wild Oats

    John O'Keeffe

  • The fable, as set forth in the playbook, proved to be unworthy of the scenes and characters: what fable would not?

  • I should like to see existing a playbook of “Hamlet” which has been altered and shortened by a joint board of actors and scholars.

  • Each had a playbook beside his plate, and they were apparently studying their parts for the morning performance.

British Dictionary definitions for playbook



a book containing a range of possible set plays
a notional range of possible tactics in any sphere of activity
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

Word Origin and History for playbook

also play-book, 1530s, "book of stage plays," from play (n.) + book (n.). Meaning "Book of football plays" recorded from 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper