horse·​play | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌplā How to pronounce horseplay (audio) \

Definition of horseplay

: rough or boisterous play

Examples of horseplay in a Sentence

The lamp got broken when the kids were engaging in a little horseplay. when he saw us spraying each other with the hose instead of washing the car, Dad yelled, “Cut out the horseplay!”
Recent Examples on the Web The Montgomerys said the bruise was caused by horseplay with a sibling. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Burnight, then the principal, describes the incident as essentially horseplay. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Martha and George’s fictitious baby — one of their private games Martha took upon herself to share with her guests in a night of brutal horseplay — will have to die. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 His father, Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke), is a pretty fun dad for a warrior chieftain, turning Amleth’s initiation ceremony into a night of silly, flatulent horseplay. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Sue says the fall was the result of the careless horseplay of teen boys, who’d been dangling the child. Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2022 Ultimately, embracing horseplay is about giving your kids the space and trust to fulfill their needs for connection and joy. Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2021 The scene, which sets up eight years of horseplay between the two office pranksters, is also a feat of food engineering. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 22 Nov. 2021 The Alabama Legislature special session on redistricting has taken a detour into anti-vaccine mandate horseplay. J.d. Crowe |, al, 3 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of horseplay

1589, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About horseplay

Time Traveler for horseplay

Time Traveler

The first known use of horseplay was in 1589

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near horseplay

horse pistol



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for horseplay

Cite this Entry

“Horseplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for horseplay


horse·​play | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌplā How to pronounce horseplay (audio) \

Kids Definition of horseplay

: rough play

More from Merriam-Webster on horseplay

Nglish: Translation of horseplay for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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