noun (1)
pla·​ya | \ ˈplī-ə How to pronounce playa (audio) \

Definition of playa

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the flat-floored bottom of an undrained desert basin that becomes at times a shallow lake


noun (2)

Definition of playa (Entry 2 of 2)

variant spelling of player f

Examples of playa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thus, while the lake once covered some 1,750 square miles, its waters now dampen barely more than half that area, leaving a zone of playa larger than the San Francisco Bay. Bill Gifford, Outside Online, 8 Nov. 2021 This begins by taking a right onto the playa at the 12-mile marker out on Route 34. Katie Bain, Billboard, 10 Sep. 2021 And yet Burning Man is not sending any of its employees to the playa in an official capacity. Katie Bain, Billboard, 10 Sep. 2021 Researchers identified approximately 60 fossilized footprints buried in layers of gypsum soil on a large playa in the Tularosa Basin in findings published in the journal Science on Thursday. Algernon D'ammassa, USA TODAY, 24 Sep. 2021 The vehicle is stored in nearby Gerlach when it’s not on the playa. Katie Bain, Billboard, 16 Sep. 2021 In normal times, a community of camps, pop-up bars and fanciful art displays rise out of the alkali dust for one week every August on a pancake-flat playa surrounded by jagged mountains 100 miles northeast of Reno. Jim Carlton, WSJ, 30 Aug. 2021 O'Hanlon says Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement is working with Humboldt, Pershing and Washoe County Sheriff's Offices to provide law enforcement and safety measures this week on the playa -- Black Rock Desert's dry lakebed. Katie Bain, Billboard, 30 Aug. 2021 Pay the fee and enjoy a soak under the stars after driving around on the playa — no speed limit. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of playa

Noun (1)

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for playa

Noun (1)

Spanish, literally, beach, from Late Latin plagia — more at plage

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play about

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Cite this Entry

“Playa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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