out·​play ˌau̇t-ˈplā How to pronounce outplay (audio)
outplayed; outplaying; outplays

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)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Whose go-to guys are going to outplay the other go-to guys? Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, 26 May 2023 Game 7 in Celtics lore is Havlicek stealing the ball, Russell and Sam puncturing balloons in the Forum ceiling, Dave Cowens outplaying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Milwaukee’s Mecca. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2023 Davis outplayed Green, who had been key to the Warriors evening the series with a similar romp in Game 2. Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2023 That’s both a testament to how talented the Longhorns’ top two quarterbacks are and an indictment of their inability to dramatically outplay one other, though first-year coach Steve Sarkisian probably would’ve kept the competitive charade up until August even if an undisputed No. 1 emerged. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 12 May 2021 In the context of a playoff series, the pressure doesn’t get more intense than a must-win Game 3, in front of your home crowd, after a team thoroughly outplayed you in the first two outings. Shane Young, Forbes, 7 May 2023 To tie the series at 2-2, Dallas needed Jake Oettinger to outplay Filip Gustavsson. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 24 Apr. 2023 Bronny later was chosen for the McDonald’s All-American game, which will be played tonight in Houston, and was outplayed during subsequent games by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame senior Caleb Foster, who wasn’t selected for the game. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2023 The Buckeyes, in a 73-61 win over Connecticut on Saturday, simply outplayed the Huskies for the majority of the game. Victoria Hernandez, USA TODAY, 28 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outplay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1702, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of outplay was in 1702

Dictionary Entries Near outplay

Cite this Entry

“Outplay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outplay. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to play better than
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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