out·​play | \ˌau̇t-ˈplā \
outplayed; outplaying; outplays

Definition of outplay 

transitive verb

: to play better than especially : to outdo in playing a game The Knicks took a 21-point lead in the first half, gave up 18 consecutive points in the third quarter, but outplayed the Kings down the stretch to win … The Times Union (Albany, New York)

Examples of outplay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ocasio-Cortez simply outplayed Crowley, who many congressional reporters saw as a potential speaker of the House, across the media. David Weigel, chicagotribune.com, "Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The 28-year-old socialist who challenged the Democratic Party's establishment and won," 27 June 2018 As Hill mentioned, the Pacers used turnovers to either blow out the Cavs or stay in games in which they were otherwise outplayed. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Say what you will about LeBron James, Kevin Love, or the Raptors, Cavaliers are winning by avoiding turnovers," 4 May 2018 Belgium's previous best finish at the World Cup was fourth, but the team outplayed England in the midfield to go one better this time. James Ellingworth, chicagotribune.com, "Belgium win 3rd place with victory over England," 14 July 2018 Belgium’s previous best finish at the World Cup was fourth, but the team outplayed England in the midfield to go one better this time. James Ellingsworth, BostonGlobe.com, "Belgium claims third place at World Cup," 14 July 2018 The victory required another 120-minute effort plus penalty kicks against a valiant Russian side, overcoming the hosts by being mentally stronger more than by outplaying them. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Belgium eliminate Brazil, England make history and the best of the World Cup weekend," 8 July 2018 Big start Wagner Wagner played his best half of the tournament during the opening half on Thursday, as the 6-foot-11 big man stayed out of foul trouble and outplayed Texas A&M center Tyler Davis. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "NCAA tournament: Michigan vs. Texas A&M," 22 Mar. 2018 And people forget that Rosen outplayed Sam Darnold when USC and UCLA met late last season. azcentral, "NFL draft reaction: Arizona Cardinals big NFL draft winner for Josh Rosen pick?," 27 Apr. 2018 The Capitals, despite being outplayed during most of the first 16 minutes, built a 3-0 lead on 11 first-period shots and never looked back. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Caps whip Vegas; one win away from first Stanley Cup," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outplay.' 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 outplay

1702, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for outplay

The first known use of outplay was in 1702

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