air·​play | \ ˈer-ˌplā How to pronounce airplay (audio) \

Definition of airplay

: the playing of a musical recording on the air by a radio station a song getting a lot of airplay

Examples of airplay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Despite receiving no airplay, the songwriter Kacey Musgraves won the 2019 Country Music Association Album of the Year, as well as Best Country Song and Best Country Album at the Grammys. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "What ain’t country about ‘Old Town Road’?," 12 Apr. 2019 According to a recent study, in 2018, female-identifying artists made up only 11.3 percent of country radio airplay. Jason Ikeler, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maren Morris Is Becoming the Voice for Women in Country Music," 31 July 2019 The group gets lots of airplay on MTV and is a staple on commercial modern-rock radio stations such as WMMS FM/100.7 and WENZ FM/107.9. Anne Nickoloff,, "Radiohead’s minidisc release includes version of ‘Lift’ recorded in Cleveland," 14 June 2019 On this week's Billboard country airplay chart — which tracks radio airplay — only 10 of the 60 slots belong to women or songs co-starring a woman. NBC News, "Carrie Underwood wins big at CMT Awards, Tanya Tucker performs," 6 June 2019 Last week, there were only two female artists on the country airplay Top 20. Emily Yahr, Washington Post, "CMT Awards 2019: Best and worst moments; Carrie Underwood wins big; Zac Brown slams ‘haters’," 6 June 2019 On this week's Billboard country airplay chart — which tracks radio airplay — only 10 of the 60 slots belong to women or songs co-starring a woman. Mesfin Fekadu, Houston Chronicle, "Carrie Underwood wins at CMT Awards, Tanya Tucker performs," 6 June 2019 But depressed airplay, if prolonged, could affect overall consumption of Jackson’s music and complicate the $250 million deal Sony Music Entertainment struck last year to distribute his catalog for the next seven... Anne Steele, WSJ, "Around Michael Jackson Documentary, Airplay Is Down, Streaming Is Up," 11 Mar. 2019 The song—which features burlier guitar chords but otherwise hews to the original—picked up momentum over the summer on the radio, recently ascending to No. 1 in the Billboard rankings for alternative-rock airplay. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "Even in 2018, It’s Gonna Take a Lot to Drag Listeners Away From ‘Africa’," 20 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airplay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of airplay

1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about airplay

Statistics for airplay

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for airplay

The first known use of airplay was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for airplay



English Language Learners Definition of airplay

: time when a musical recording is played by a radio station

More from Merriam-Webster on airplay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with airplay

Britannica English: Translation of airplay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on airplay

What made you want to look up airplay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!