playoff

noun play·off \ ˈplā-ˌȯf \
variants: or less commonly play-off
|Updated on: 14 Jun 2018

Definition of playoff

1 : a final contest, series of contests, or period of play to determine the winner between contestants or teams that have tied
  • a golf tournament decided by an 18-hole playoff
  • a sudden-death playoff
2 : a series of contests played after the end of the regular season to determine a championship usually plural except when used before another noun
  • Will you watch the playoffs?
  • got tickets to a playoff game

Recent Examples of playoff from the Web

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

First Known Use of playoff

1895

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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play off

verb

Definition of play off

1 a : to set in opposition for one's own gain
b : to set in contrast
2 : to complete the playing of (an interrupted contest)
3 : to break (a tie) by a playoff

First Known Use of play off

1736

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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PLAYOFF Defined for Kids

play-off

noun \ ˈplā-ˌȯf \

Definition of play-off for Students

: a game or series of games to determine a championship or to break a tie

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