play verb Meaning in the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary

Meaning of “play” - Learner’s Dictionary


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.Competing in sportCompeting and contending (non-sporting)General terms used in ball sportsActions involved in playing cards
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.Celebrating and entertainingChildren's games
MUSIC [I, T] A2 to make music with a musical instrument: Tim was playing the piano.Playing musicSinging in general
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.Playing musicSinging in generalRecording sounds and images
ACTING [T] B1 to be a character in a film or play: Morgan played the father in the film version.Acting, rehearsing and performing
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 Behaving in a silly way
(Definition of play verb from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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