Hypertext Webster Gateway: "Playing"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Play \Play\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Played}; p. pr. & vb. n.
{Playing}.] [OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin
to plega play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan
to promise, pledge, D. plegen to care for, attend to, be
wont, G. pflegen; of unknown origin. [root]28. Cf. {Plight},
1. To engage in sport or lively recreation; to exercise for
the sake of amusement; to frolic; to spot.

As Cannace was playing in her walk. --Chaucer.

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day, Had he thy
reason, would he skip and play! --Pope.

And some, the darlings of their Lord, Play smiling
with the flame and sword. --Keble.

2. To act with levity or thoughtlessness; to trifle; to be

``Nay,'' quod this monk, ``I have no lust to
pleye.'' --Chaucer.

Men are apt to play with their healths. --Sir W.

3. To contend, or take part, in a game; as, to play ball;
hence, to gamble; as, he played for heavy stakes.

4. To perform on an instrument of music; as, to play on a

One that . . . can play well on an instrument.
xxxiii. 32.

Play, my friend, and charm the charmer. --Granville.

5. To act; to behave; to practice deception.

His mother played false with a smith. --Shak.

6. To move in any manner; especially, to move regularly with
alternate or reciprocating motion; to operate; to act; as,
the fountain plays.

The heart beats, the blood circulates, the lungs
play. --Cheyne.

7. To move gayly; to wanton; to disport.

Even as the waving sedges play with wind. --Shak.

The setting sun Plays on their shining arms and
burnished helmets. --Addison.

All fame is foreign but of true desert, Plays round
the head, but comes not to the heart. --Pope.

8. To act on the stage; to personate a character.

A lord will hear your play to-night. --Shak.

Courts are theaters where some men play. --Donne.

{To play into a person's hands}, to act, or to manage
matters, to his advantage or benefit.

{To play off}, to affect; to feign; to practice artifice.

{To play upon}.
(a) To make sport of; to deceive.

Art thou alive? Or is it fantasy that plays upon
our eyesight. --Shak.
(b) To use in a droll manner; to give a droll expression
or application to; as, to play upon words.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Playing \Play"ing\,
a. & vb. n. of {Play}.

{Playing cards}. See under {Card}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj : occupied in play or playful activities; "heard the laughter
of playing children"
n 1: the act of playing a musical instrument
2: the action of taking part in a game or sport or other
3: the performance of a part or role in a drama [syn: {acting},
{playacting}, {performing}]

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