Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

Spanish translation of “play”

play

verb /plei/
to amuse oneself The child is playing in the garden He is playing with his toys The little girl wants to play with her friends. to take part in (games etc)
jugar (a)
He plays football He is playing in goal Here’s a pack of cards – who wants to play (with me)? I’m playing golf with him this evening.
to act in a play etc; to act (a character) She’s playing Lady Macbeth The company is playing in London this week. (of a play etc) to be performed
ser representado
‘Oklahoma’ is playing at the local theatre.
to (be able to) perform on (a musical instrument) She plays the piano Who was playing the piano this morning? He plays (the oboe) in an orchestra. (usually with on) to carry out or do (a trick)
gastar una broma (a alguien)
He played a trick on me.
(usually with at) to compete against (someone) in a game etc
jugar contra
I’ll play you at tennis.
(of light) to pass with a flickering movement The firelight played across the ceiling. to direct (over or towards something) The firemen played their hoses over the burning house. to put down or produce (a playing-card) as part of a card game He played the seven of hearts. player noun playable adjective (negative unplayable) (of a ground, pitch etc) not good enough for a game to be played on it
en condiciones para jugar, bueno para jugar
Because of the rain the referee decided the ground was not playable.
playful adjective happy; full of the desire to play a playful kitten. joking; not serious a playful remark. playfully adverb
en broma, con gracia
playfulness noun playboy noun a rich man who spends his time and money on pleasure.
playboy
playground noun an area in which children can play in a park, outside a school etc. playing card noun one of a pack of cards used in card games. playing field noun a field which is specially prepared and used for sport. playmate noun a childhood friend.
compañero de juegos
playpen noun a small wooden structure with bars on every side in which a small child can play safely.
parque para niños
playschool noun an informal nursery school. plaything noun a toy. playtime noun a set time for children to play (at school etc) The children go outside at playtime. playwright noun a person who writes plays He is a famous playwright. at play playing
jugando, que juegan
There are children at play in the area.
bring/come into play to (cause to) be used or exercised The job allowed him to bring all his talents into play. child’s play something that is very easy
juego de niños, pan comido
Of course you can do it – it’s child’s play!
in play ( out of play) (of a ball) according to the rules of the game, (not) in a position where it can be hit, kicked etc
dentro/fuera de juego
The ball landed just out of play.
play at to pretend to be etc The children were playing at cowboys and Indians. used when asking angrily what someone is doing What does he think he’s playing at (=doing)? play back (play-back) play down to try to make (something) appear less important He played down the fact that he had failed the exam. play fair to act honestly and fairly If a player doesn’t play fair, he will be sent off. play for time to delay an action, decision etc in the hope that conditions will improve
ganar tiempo
He took the ball near the corner flag in order to play for time.
play havoc with to cause a lot of damage to The storm played havoc with the farmer’s crops. play into someone’s hands to do exactly what an opponent or enemy wants one to do
hacerle el juego a alguien
We have to be careful not to play into their hands by reacting angrily to any deliberate provocation.
play off (play-off)
jugar el desempate
play off against to set (one person) against (another) in order to gain an advantage
oponer una persona a otra
He played his father off against his mother to get more pocket money.
play on to make use of (someone’s feelings, fears etc) He played on my sympathy until I lent him $10. play a/no part in (not) to be one of the people who are doing (something)
(no) tomar parte, (no) participar
He played no part in the robbery.
play safe to take no risks
ir a lo seguro, no arriesgarse
The defender opted to play it safe and kicked the ball out for a throw-in.
play the game to act fairly and honestly. play up to be troublesome or disobedient
dar la lata, portarse mal, hacer de las suyas
The children are playing up today.
(Definition of play from the Password English-Spanish Dictionary © 2013 K Dictionaries Ltd)

Definitions of “play” in English

Word of the Day

warm-up

something that you do to prepare yourself for an activity, especially gentle exercises before a physical activity

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More