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 Restoring the Great Salt Lake and controlling the dust blown off the exposed lakebed and playa., "REPUBLICANS," 28 Oct. 2020 These were in a place where the playa’s surface looked blank and archaeologists hadn’t documented any tracks. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Radar reveals ghostly footprints at White Sands," 4 Dec. 2019 In northwestern South Africa, near the border with Namibia, the dry lake has an alkali playa, or baked mud, surface and has been painstakingly cleared of all rocks. Washington Post, "Bloodhound aims to be world’s fastest car in South Africa," 8 Nov. 2019 From Tony Bravo: The Burn of the playa, no camping required. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: From the Judgment of Paris to the Smithsonian," 20 Nov. 2019 Where possible, avoid single-use bottled drinks. ♲ Clothes and costumes: The playa takes its toll on clothing and costumes; the thrift shop is your friend. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Back to the playa: Burning Man 2019 brings images of fire and fun," 28 Aug. 2019 Since 1990, Burning Man has been held on the Black Rock Desert playa, an ancient lake flat made of alkaline dust. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Experts: Burning Man playa dust not serious health concern," 19 Aug. 2019 Burning Man, the experimental city that rises up out of the playa in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for 10 days each year, has a theme. Watchara Phomicinda, The Mercury News, "Burning Man in photos: 100 stunning images of the art, community and more," 4 Sep. 2019 Bursting with exuberant kitsch, The Melting Pot World Emporium has everything that a longtime or aspirational burner (aka Burning Man participant) could want — on or off the playa. Erin E. Williams, Twin Cities, "Stunning vistas, modern museums, quirky shops make Reno a favorite for tourists," 22 June 2019

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Playa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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