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  1. [noun] a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage; "he wrote several plays but only one was produced on Broadway"
    Synonyms: drama, dramatic

  2. [noun] a theatrical performance of a drama; "the play lasted two hours"

  3. [noun] a preset plan of action in team sports; "the coach drew up the plays for her team"

  4. [noun] a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill; "he made a great maneuver"; "the runner was out on a play by the shortstop"
    Synonyms: maneuver, manoeuvre

  5. [noun] a state in which action is feasible; "the ball was still in play"; "insiders said the company's stock was in play"

  6. [noun] utilization or exercise; "the play of the imagination"

  7. [noun] an attempt to get something; "they made a futile play for power"; "he made a bid to gain attention"
    Synonyms: bid

  8. [noun] play by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules; "Freud believed in the utility of play to a small child"
    Synonyms: child's

  9. [noun] (in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds; "rain stopped play in the 4th inning"
    Synonyms: ing period, period of

  10. [noun] the removal of constraints; "he gave free rein to his impulses"; "they gave full play to the artist's talent"
    Synonyms: free rein

  11. [noun] a weak and tremulous light; "the shimmer of colors on iridescent feathers"; "the play of light on the water"
    Synonyms: shimmer

  12. [noun] verbal wit (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously); "he became a figure of fun"
    Synonyms: fun, sport

  13. [noun] movement or space for movement; "there was too much play in the steering wheel"
    Synonyms: looseness

  14. [noun] gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; "it was all done in play"; "their frolic in the surf threatened to become ugly"
    Synonyms: frolic, romp, gambol, caper

  15. [noun] the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize); "his gambling cost him a fortune"; "there was heavy play at the blackjack table"
    Synonyms: gambling, gaming

  16. [noun] the activity of doing something in an agreed succession; "it is my turn"; "it is still my play"
    Synonyms: turn

  17. [noun] the act using a sword (or other weapon) vigorously and skillfully
    Synonyms: sword

  18. [verb] participate in games or sport; "We played hockey all afternoon"; "play cards"; "Pele played for the Brazilian teams in many important matches"

  19. [verb] act or have an effect in a specified way or with a specific effect or outcome; "This factor played only a minor part in his decision"; "This development played into her hands"; "I played no role in your dismissal"

  20. [verb] play on an instrument; "The band played all night long"

  21. [verb] play a role or part; "Gielgud played Hamlet"; "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role"; "She played the servant to her husband's master"
    Synonyms: act, represent

  22. [verb] be at play; be engaged in playful activity; amuse oneself in a way characteristic of children; "The kids were playing outside all day"; "I used to play with trucks as a little girl"

  23. [verb] replay (as a melody); "Play it again, Sam"; "She played the third movement very beautifully"
    Synonyms: spiel

  24. [verb] perform music on (a musical instrument); "He plays the flute"; "Can you play on this old recorder?"

  25. [verb] pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind; "He acted the idiot"; "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
    Synonyms: act, act as

  26. [verb] move or seem to move quickly, lightly, or irregularly; "The spotlights played on the politicians"

  27. [verb] bet or wager (money); "He played $20 on the new horse"; "She plays the races"

  28. [verb] engage in recreational activities rather than work; occupy oneself in a diversion; "On weekends I play"; "The students all recreate alike"
    Synonyms: recreate

  29. [verb] pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity; "Let's play like I am mommy"; "Play cowboy and Indians"

  30. [verb] emit recorded sound; "The tape was playing for hours"; "the stereo was playing Beethoven when I entered"

  31. [verb] perform on a certain location; "The prodigy played Carnegie Hall at the age of 16"; "She has been playing on Broadway for years"

  32. [verb] put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game; "He is playing his cards close to his chest"; "The Democrats still have some cards to play before they will concede the electoral victory"

  33. [verb] engage in an activity as if it were a game rather than take it seriously; "They played games on their opponents"; "play the stockmarket"; "play with her feelings"; "toy with an idea"
    Synonyms: toy

  34. [verb] behave in a certain way; "play safe"; "play it safe"; "play fair"

  35. [verb] cause to emit recorded sounds; "They ran the tapes over and over again"; "Can you play my favorite record?"
    Synonyms: run

  36. [verb] manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination; "She played nervously with her wedding ring"; "Don't fiddle with the screws"; "He played with the idea of running for the Senate"
    Synonyms: toy, fiddle, diddle

  37. [verb] use to one's advantage; "She plays on her clients' emotions"

  38. [verb] consider not very seriously; "He is trifling with her"; "She plays with the thought of moving to Tasmania"
    Synonyms: dally, trifle

  39. [verb] be received or accepted or interpreted in a specific way; "This speech didn't play well with the American public"; "His remarks played to the suspicions of the committee"

  40. [verb] behave carelessly or indifferently; "Play about with a young girl's affection"
    Synonyms: dally, toy, flirt

  41. [verb] cause to move or operate freely within a bounded space; "The engine has a wheel that is playing in a rack"

  42. [verb] perform on a stage or theater; "She acts in this play"; "He acted in `Julius Caesar'"; "I played in `A Christmas Carol'"
    Synonyms: act, roleact

  43. [verb] be performed; "What's playing in the local movie theater?"; "`Cats' has been playing on Broadway for many years"

  44. [verb] cause to happen or to occur as a consequence; "I cannot work a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"
    Synonyms: bring, work, wreak, make for

  45. [verb] discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream; "play water from a hose"; "The fountains played all day"

  46. [verb] make bets; "Play the reaces"; "play the casinos in Trouville"

  47. [verb] stake on the outcome of an issue; "I bet $100 on that new horse"; "She played all her money on the dark horse"
    Synonyms: bet, wager

  48. [verb] shoot or hit in a particular manner; "She played a good backhand last night"

  49. [verb] use or move; "I had to play my queen"

  50. [verb] employ in a game or in a specific position; "They played him on first base"

  51. [verb] contend against an opponent in a sport, game, or battle; "Princeton plays Yale this weekend"; "Charlie likes to play Mary"
    Synonyms: meet, encounter, take on

  52. [verb] exhaust by allowing to pull on the line; "play a hooked fish"


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