play out

verb

played out; playing out; plays out

transitive verb

1
a
: to perform to the end
play out a role
b
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

Example Sentences

we've finally played out the leftovers from that huge holiday meal
Recent Examples on the Web The administration is hoping the high court will block the previous orders so that the relief plan can move forward while legal challenges play out, per AP. Theara Coleman, The Week, 18 Nov. 2022 While those efforts play out, some people have simply rented storefronts and started selling pot without permission. Jennifer Peltz, Fortune, 18 Nov. 2022 As court challenges play out and new legislation emerges, the number of states barring abortions could total as many as 26, said Ruth Richardson, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central, which has 28 health centers across a five-state region. Tom Peterson, Chicago Tribune, 31 Oct. 2022 If similar dynamics play out in the metaverse, the level of harm could increase significantly, some experts worry. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 27 Oct. 2022 When asked if police might play out a scenario similar to what Burks had been going through, Leonard-Gilbert deferred the question to the Detroit-Wayne Integrated Health System. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 12 Oct. 2022 So this is one of the scenarios that is starting to get a lot more attention: how nuclear-escalation dynamics would play out, should China decide to actually invade Taiwan. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2022 If things play out that way, the Chargers are better equipped to prevail -- this despite the Browns ranking No. 4 in total yardage. cleveland, 7 Oct. 2022 Industry loss estimates for Hurricane Ian are still in flux, and in any event the actual loss tally won’t be settled for some time as litigation and claims adjustments play out. Telis Demos, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of play out was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near play out

Cite this Entry

“Play out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/play%20out. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

play out

verb

1
: to perform to the end
2
a
: to use up or finish
b
: to become exhausted : tire
3
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ