by·​play ˈbī-ˌplā How to pronounce byplay (audio)
: action engaged in on the side while the main action proceeds (as during a dramatic production)

Examples of byplay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their relationship evolves over time, defined by amusing byplay at the start. Don Aucoin,, 14 Nov. 2022 All this byplay has predictably undermined confidence that the deal will ever happen. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2022 Few films have so poignantly portrayed the mother-daughter byplay. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Dec. 2020 But the real show here is the peerlessly entertaining Poitier-Steiger byplay. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Apr. 2020 The reverberations will roll out for years to come, affecting the state of presidential power, the national political climate and the byplay between the two parties in Washington. 1. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, 1 Feb. 2020 Maybarduk saw the byplay between Trump and Pfizer as a reflection of the ineffectiveness of the blueprint. Michael Hiltzik,, 11 July 2018 Their amusing byplay is comforting, which translates to some degree as predictable, but familiarity is part of the appeal. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 24 Apr. 2018 Because the formal byplay of the schema is of more interest to the creators than creating distinctive characters, the lovers never quite take on lives of their own, and Harder’s libretto has a generic quality. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'byplay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of byplay was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near byplay

Cite this Entry

“Byplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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