Meaning of “play” - Learner’s Dictionary

play

verb uk us /pleɪ/
SPORTS/GAMES [ I, T ]

A1 to take part in a sport or game:

You play tennis, don't you Sam?
We often used to play cards.
I used to play netball for my school.
I'm playing Tony (= playing against Tony) at squash tonight.
Two of the team weren't playing because they were injured.
Barcelona are playing against Real Madrid tonight.
CHILDREN [ I, T ]

A1 If children play, they enjoy themselves with toys and games:

She likes playing with her dolls.
Emma won't play with me.
MUSIC [ I, T ]

A2 to make music with a musical instrument:

Tim was playing the piano.
RECORD/RADIO [ I, T ]

A2 If a radio, record, etc plays, it produces sounds, or if you play a radio, record, etc you make it produce sounds:

A radio was playing in the background.
He plays his records late into the night.
ACTING [ T ]

B1 to be a character in a film or play:

Morgan played the father in the film version.
play a joke/trick on sb

B2 to deceive someone as a joke:

I played a trick on her and pretended we'd eaten all the food.
→ See also play it by ear , play games , play (it) safe , play for time , play truant

(Definition of “play verb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)