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

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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 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, "Thomas Edison’s brilliant life, told in reverse," 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, "What Does It Mean to Be a “Real” Writer?," 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, "Review: Mummenschanz Offers Wonder, and a Grumpy Trash Bag," 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, "Leopard Plays With Prey’s Own Bones," 19 June 2018 Its thematic, visual, and ludic elements hooked into players’ minds and culture as a whole. The Strong Museum Of Play, Ars Technica, "The original Doom, one of 64 Objects that shaped video game history," 2 June 2018 At various moments throughout this avian journey, Ms. Uglow swoops down to examine and explicate with hawk-like acuity the ludic complexities of Lear’s writings. Jonathan Cott, WSJ, "‘Mr. Lear’ Review: An Airborne Life of Art and Nonsense," 20 Apr. 2018 The Maker movement has reclaimed DIY as a form of cultural practice and ludic, fun hacking as an alternative to our passive role as consumers of locked down devices and wall-garden services. Bruce Sterling, WIRED, "Future Everything Festival, Tools for Unknown Futures," 21 Mar. 2014

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.

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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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Time Traveler for ludic

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The first known use of ludic was in 1940

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ludic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

Comments on ludic

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to assert without proof or before proving

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