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  1. an area used for outdoor play or recreation, especially by children, and often containing recreational equipment such as slides and swings.
  2. Informal. any place, environment, or facility used for recreation or amusement, as a resort: The tropical island is an international playground for the rich.
  3. an arena of operation or activity.
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Origin of playground

First recorded in 1770–80; play + ground1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for playground


  1. an outdoor area for children's play, esp one having swings, slides, etc, or adjoining a school
  2. a place or region particularly popular as a sports or holiday resort
  3. a sphere of activityreading was his private playground
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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 playground


1780, from play (v.) + ground (n.). Old English had plegstow "village sports ground," literally "place for play."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper