a thing to play with; toy.
a person who is used capriciously and selfishly by another.

Origin of plaything

First recorded in 1665–75; play + thing1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plaything

Contemporary Examples of plaything

  • In the end, he seems as much the plaything of circumstances as any of the hapless victims of the despised 47%.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why is David Siegel so Mad?

    David Frum

    October 10, 2012

Historical Examples of plaything

  • Of course, you know, a man doesn't tell everyone that he's got a plaything of that sort.

  • She'd been treated like a plaything afore he got her and he treated her that way till he died.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • Or if it touches it mustn't be rough, for its plaything will break so easily.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • He had yearned for it, as a child might yearn for a plaything.

  • She is my doll, my baby, my plaything—the creature that keeps me human.

    A Modern Tomboy

    L. T. Meade

British Dictionary definitions for plaything



a toy
a person regarded or treated as a toyhe thinks she is just his plaything
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 plaything

1670s, from play (v.) + thing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper