play out


Definition of play out 

transitive verb

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

b : use up, finish

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for play out


absorb, burn, consume, deplete, devour, drain, draw down, exhaust, expend, spend, use up


renew, replace

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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 other is playing out on the smartphone screens of consumers in India, Indonesia, Brazil and other emerging economies. The Economist, "Chinese and US tech giants go at it in emerging markets," 5 July 2018 The agar was a kind of stage on which the experiment played out, where cells divided and bacteria and viruses interacted and changed each other. Eve Fairbanks, The New Republic, "The World in a World Cup," 5 July 2018 Inside the plaza, the game played out on multiple giant screens at the Green Witch. Sandra Dibble,, "¡Viva Korea! Losing to Sweden, Mexican soccer fans cheer Korean team," 27 June 2018 Rivalries and international tension regularly play out on the soccer field. Ann Killion,, "Shut up and dribble? Not in basketball. Certainly not in soccer," 25 June 2018 And college programs were attempting to recruit the McDonoughs as a pair, after watching their chemistry play out at Jacksonsville (N.C.) High in the spring of 2016. Ryan Hathaway,, "Norwell girls lacrosse one step away from Division 2 crown," 23 June 2018 The drama played out on a quiet street in the Central Florida town of Ocoee. Elizabeth Finny, miamiherald, "A gator wandering on the street head-butts a captor. Two cops got it from the other end," 6 June 2018 For Lovejoy, that philosophy plays out on two very visible stages. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Meet the Savage x Fenty Muse Who Is Championing the Postpartum Body," 2 June 2018 In Europe, England, and America, at least, Catholicism was one of the major canvases on which these tensions played out. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The religious hunger that drives Jordan Peterson’s fandom," 1 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of play out

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for play out

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for play out

The first known use of play out was in 1598

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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