[pley-fuh l]


full of play or fun; sportive; frolicsome.
pleasantly humorous or jesting: a playful remark.

Origin of playful

First recorded in 1200–50, playful is from the Middle English word pleiful. See play, -ful
Related formsplay·ful·ly, adverbplay·ful·ness, nounhalf-play·ful, adjectivehalf-play·ful·ly, adverbhalf-play·ful·ness, nounun·play·ful, adjectiveun·play·ful·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for playfully

Contemporary Examples of playfully

Historical Examples of playfully

  • "Your right hand is not yours to give," said Hetty, playfully.

  • (advancing to him playfully) A silver penny for your thoughts, uncle.

  • She moved toward him a few steps, playfully, and then halted.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He rose, and coming over to his wife, playfully pinched her cheek.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • She became as rosy as the flowers she carried and tapped him playfully with them.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

British Dictionary definitions for playfully



full of high spirits and funa playful kitten
good-natured and humorousa playful remark
Derived Formsplayfully, adverbplayfulness, noun
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 playfully



mid-13c., from play (v.) + -ful. Related: Playfully; playfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper