play#

play#
play n
1 sport, disport, frolic, rollick, romp, gambol (see under PLAY vb 1)
Analogous words: enjoyment, delectation, *pleasure, delight: amusement, diversion, recreation, entertainment (see under AMUSE): *athletics, sports, games
Antonyms: work
2 *fun, jest, sport, game
Antonyms: earnest
3 *room, berth, elbowroom, leeway, margin, clearance
play vb
1 Play, sport, disport, frolic, rollick, romp, gambol can all as verbs mean to engage in exercise or other activity as a pleasure or amusement, and as nouns mean exercise or activities engaged in for the sake of pleasure or amusement.
Play, the most general of these terms, suggests an opposition to work; like its antithesis it usually implies activity and often vigorous activity of body or mind, but it emphasizes the absence of any end except that of amusement, diversion, recreation, or pure enjoyment
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children play for hours at keeping house

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play chess

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play tennis

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no play is interesting to me unless it effects work, and no work is possible to me unless it possesses the amusement of playEllis

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they had been... transformed from a dejected, downcast, docile, uninterested people, who could not even play, into one which was healthy, alert— Heiser

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playing at one job and then another, too charged with impatience to plug at chores— Mailer

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Sport and disport suggest a complete release not only from work but from seriousness; the terms imply indulgence in something which cheers, makes merry, or serves as a pastime
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if all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as as to work— Shak.

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sport that wrinkled Care derides— Milton

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see the children sport upon the shore— Wordsworth

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all the freedom and grace of healthy young animals, sporting in the shallows or playing in the warm sands— Beaglehole

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we make ourselves fools, to disport ourselves— Shak.

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a tiny fish disporting himself with me in the tub— Beebe

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Frolic suggests more gaiety, more levity, and more spontaneousness than any of the preceding terms; it often is used in reference to the lighthearted, joyous movements of children or young animals at play, but it also suggests the pastimes, antics, or pranks of those who have thrown off all care
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I come to frolic with you, and to cheer your drooping souls— Ford & Dekker

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children were allowed to frolic around on these piles of material to their heart's content— Talbot

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their sedateness is as comical as their frolicMeredith

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Rollick, infrequent as a noun and used chiefly in the form rollicking, adds to frolic implications of exuberance in gaiety and of reveling and therefore is used especially in reference to youths or young adults
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rollicking blades

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"Q." appears as a rollicking humorist. ... He rollicks, perhaps, a little too laboriously— Pall Mall Gazette

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Romp suggests the boisterous carefree frolicking of children, of rough boys, and of tomboys; it usually connotes running or racing in play
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first-to-sixth- graders . . . romp on the playground— Cabell Phillips

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I have been having a romp with my godson— Braddon

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Gambol suggests the leaping and skipping characteristic of lambs and young children; it comes close to frolic, but carries a stronger suggestion of joy in movement
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Gilda rose as limber as a 16-year-old, and gambolled the full length of the room— Purdy

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where be your gibes now? your gambolsl your songs? your flashes of merriment . . .7—Shak.

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their pygmy king, and little fairy queen, in circling dances gambolled on the green— Pope

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Analogous words: divert, entertain, recreate, *amuse: *trifle, toy, dally
2 *act, impersonate
Analogous words: feign, simulate, counterfeit, *assume

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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