lu·​dic | \ ˈlü-dik How to pronounce ludic (audio) \

Definition of ludic

: of, relating to, or characterized by play : playful ludic behavior a ludic novel

Did you know?

Here's a serious word, just for fun. That is to say, it means "fun," but it was created in all seriousness around 1940 by psychologists. They wanted a term to describe what children do, and they came up with "ludic activity." That may seem ludicrous—why not just call it "playing"?—but the word ludic caught on, and it's not all child's play anymore. It can refer to architecture that is playful, narrative that is humorous and even satirical, and literature that is light. Ludic is ultimately from the Latin noun ludus, which refers to a whole range of fun things—stage shows, games, sports, even jokes. The more familiar word ludicrous also traces back to the same source.

Examples of ludic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For years, app developers have tried to include fun, ludic aspects to all kinds of apps, from education to fitness. Elad Natanson, Forbes, 1 June 2021 After your treatment, bliss out on the Relaxation Deck, which is wrapped by a natural spring and houses a ludic therapy pool featuring hydrotherapy, cold mist, hydro jets, pressure showers, and waterfalls. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, 3 Dec. 2020 And some notable game-makers like Firaxis Games (Civilization) and 11-Bit Studios (This War of Mine) are drawing inspiration from climate-change to craft ludic dilemmas that force players to make radical decisions in the face of overwhelming odds. Steven T. Wright, Ars Technica, 5 June 2020 Its hallmarks are relatively simple to describe, belying its revolutionary impact: There are the great cascades of left-hand chords, less ludic than Thelonious Monk’s surprise attacks but no less jagged or forceful. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2020 This ludic approach makes for some awkward challenges for the reader, who meets Edison as an old man, his children as adults and his second wife before his first. Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2019 And yet, with its ludic meta-fictionality and the self-conscious construction of characters, the novel cleverly dodges knowable reality, circumventing the question of authenticity altogether. Hermione Hoby, The New Yorker, 3 July 2019 At its best, the show is a tribute to the ludic impulse that many of us carelessly abandoned back on the elementary school playground, the ability to make a branch or a puddle or a chunk of chalked up pavement into some new thing, some new world. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 10 July 2018 Rather, Hunter says the leopard in the video is more likely getting excited about its meal, and seems to be pulling out the jawbone and wielding it in a ludic manner. National Geographic, 19 June 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of ludic

1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ludic

French ludique, from Latin ludus

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Cite this Entry

“Ludic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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