play out

verb
played out; playing out; plays out

Definition of play out

transitive verb

1a : to perform to the end play out a role
2 : unreel, unfold played out a length of line— Gordon Webber

intransitive verb

1 : to become spent or exhausted
2 : develop, unfold see how things play out

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for play out

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of play out in a Sentence

we've finally played out the leftovers from that huge holiday meal
Recent Examples on the Web The trauma of the last six months will play out for lifetimes. Corina Knoll, New York Times, "How New Yorkers Found Resolve After 6 Months of Pandemic Hardship," 23 Sep. 2020 Even if these machinations could be stopped, the inequities might still play out in an unexpected way. Roxanne Khamsi, Wired, "Covid-19 Vaccines Could End Up With Bias Built Right In," 22 Sep. 2020 Like last time, your craziest failures in Spelunky 2 play out like lessons. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spelunky 2 game review: Roguelike perfection," 19 Sep. 2020 The Simons saga with Portland could play out in many different ways and will be one of the more fascinating stories to watch unfold. oregonlive, "Anfernee Simons could be the team’s future or a trade chip: Trail Blazers season review, look ahead," 19 Sep. 2020 Any time the Los Angeles Lakers open the doors to their practice court, a few familiar incidents play out. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "How Lakers’ LeBron James, Anthony Davis have established a workman-like culture," 18 Sep. 2020 For the tens of millions of TikTok users in the U.S. watching the fate of the popular video app play out amid a geopolitical drama with China, a new turn of events Sunday brought the possibility of relief as an important deadline looms. Sebastian Herrera, WSJ, "Would a TikTok Ban Make the App Disappear? Oracle Bid Could Mean a Reprieve," 14 Sep. 2020 But Surprise, unlike Gilbert, has a city charter with more local control, so a lawsuit there, if filed, could play out differently. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "Gilbert council member-elect who sued to be seated immediately can start Nov. 3, judge rules," 13 Sep. 2020 During that two-week interlude, Law Director Luke McConville said, the political process can play out. cleveland, "University Heights council debates whether it should spend $16,000 to continue city’s recycling program," 10 Sep. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of play out

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about play out

Time Traveler for play out

Time Traveler

The first known use of play out was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Statistics for play out

Last Updated

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Play out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/play%20out. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on play out

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for play out

Comments on play out

What made you want to look up play out? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!