See more synonyms for player on
  1. a person or thing that plays.
  2. a person who takes part or is skilled in some game or sport.
  3. a person who plays parts on the stage; an actor.
  4. a performer on a musical instrument.
  5. Informal. a participant, as in a conference or business deal.
  6. a machine or piece of software that reproduces sound or images: a record player; a videodisc player; a digital media player.
  7. a gambler.
  8. Slang. a person engaged in illicit or illegal activity, especially a pimp.
  9. a mechanical device by which a musical instrument, as a player piano, is played automatically.

Origin of player

before 1000; Middle English pleyer, Old English plegere. See play, -er1
Related formscoun·ter·play·er, nounnon·play·er, nounself-play·er, nounsu·per·play·er, noun


  1. Gary,born 1935, South African golfer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for player

Contemporary Examples of player

Historical Examples of player

  • The poet, the player, and all but the dancing-master and doctor, went on this errand.

  • It is not for the player, himself, to become a piece upon the board.

  • I marvel at the invention of the composer and the skill of the player, but there I cease.

    The Fifth String  

    John Philip Sousa

  • "I've often thought you might have been a player," said she contemptuously.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The player—who may be left on the ground long after all games have been played out.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for player


  1. a person who participates in or is skilled at some game or sport
  2. a person who plays a game or sport professionally
  3. a person who plays a musical instrument
  4. an actor
  5. informal a participant, esp a powerful one, in a particular field of activitya leading city player
  6. See record player
  7. the playing mechanism in a Pianola


  1. Gary (ˈɡærɪ). born 1935, South African golfer: winner of nine major championships (1959–78), including the British Open (1959, 1968, 1974)
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 player

Old English plegere, agent noun from play (v.). Stage sense is from mid-15c. As a pimp's word for himself (also playa), attested from 1974. Player-piano attested from 1901.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper