clever or subtle repartee; verbal wit.

Origin of wordplay

First recorded in 1870–75; word + play
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wordplay

Contemporary Examples of wordplay

Historical Examples of wordplay

  • Abbott and he sometimes swerved into wordplay about love; but up to 1820, or thereabouts, the passion was potential merely.

British Dictionary definitions for wordplay



verbal wit based on the meanings and ambiguities of words; puns, clever repartee, etc
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 wordplay

also word-play, 1855; see word (n.) + play (v).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper