in·​ter·​play | \ ˈin-tər-ˌplā \

Definition of interplay

: interaction the interplay of opposing forces

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Other Words from interplay

interplay \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈplā , ˈin-​tər-​ˌplā \ intransitive verb

Examples of interplay in a Sentence

the interplay between the old and the new enjoys the interplay of three very different flavors

Recent Examples on the Web

The research found that people who can trigger their own goosebumps describe very similar sensations and triggers—and that the interplay between goosebumps and personality could give useful insights into how emotion works. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Creating goosebumps at will may be more interesting than it sounds," 6 Aug. 2018 The interplay between political goals in China and Japan is fraught with peril. WSJ, "China’s Market Meddling Will End Like Japan’s," 26 Dec. 2018 The interplay of textures on her suit was nicely set off by the transparent PVC strap on her black heels, which were also a wardrobe repeat: Steve Madden's Plaza pumps. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Letizia of Spain Really Loves Her Steve Madden Heels," 26 Sep. 2018 Benson is the one who thinks about the interplay of balsamic, fall vegetables, and bright, tart apple. Devra First,, "Robots made me lunch. I enjoyed it. Is that so wrong?," 8 May 2018 Volunteers will be asked to donate their DNA, complete health surveys and wear fitness and blood pressure trackers to offer clues about the interplay of their stats, their genetics and their environment. Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Smithsonian, "The DNA Data We Have Is Too White. Scientists Want to Fix That," 30 Apr. 2018 There's also exquisite range and modulation in the interplay between Carlton and Gina. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Come Sunday': Film Review | Sundance 2018," 22 Jan. 2018 In Ferryman, though, the interplay of history, lore, and contemporary lives isn’t redemptive but troubling. Aja Romano, Vox, "The Olivier-winning play from Jez Butterworth juggles 21 actors, a baby, and a goose — with a dark strain of Irish nationalism.," 3 Nov. 2018 Because a conductor might get in the way of the performers’ crucial interplay, not to mention distracting audience members, the score does not call for a conductor. John Von Rhein,, "Joan of Arc lives anew, reimagined in Amy Beth Kirsten's 'Savior'," 27 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of interplay

1862, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for interplay

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for interplay

The first known use of interplay was in 1862

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More Definitions for interplay



English Language Learners Definition of interplay

: the ways in which two or more things, groups, etc., affect each other when they happen or exist together

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More from Merriam-Webster on interplay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with interplay

Spanish Central: Translation of interplay

Nglish: Translation of interplay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interplay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on interplay

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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