play·​back | \ ˈplā-ˌbak How to pronounce playback (audio) \

Definition of playback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or instance of reproducing recorded sound or pictures often immediately after recording

play back

played back; playing back; plays back

Definition of play back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to perform a playback of (a usually recently recorded disc or tape)

Examples of playback in a Sentence

Noun The band listened to a playback of their first recording.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The digital crown in the AirPods Max headphones controls the volume and playback controls—kind of like the buttons on the side of your Beats over-ear headphones. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Badass Teardown of the AirPods Max," 22 Jan. 2021 But director of technical marketing Robert Hallock said that CPPC would add two hours to a Ryzen Mobile 5000 notebook’s battery life, for a total of 17.5 hours of general usage and 21 hours of video playback. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "AMD's laptop resurgence continues with Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors," 12 Jan. 2021 Cannot select a video rendition for playback in this browser. New York Times, "Exploring James Baldwin’s Old Haunts in New York and Paris," 12 Dec. 2020 According to the company, this Liberty Air 2 model takes about 10 minutes to charge and are good to listen to for two hours off a single charge, with a total playback time of seven hours. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday," 18 Dec. 2020 Plugging them in for five minutes will deliver about an hour and a half of playback with noise-canceling engaged. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "AirPods Max review: A high price for luxury performance," 17 Dec. 2020 The maximum disc playback length is 74 minutes, just long enough to accommodate the Ninth Symphony. Andrew Lennon, WSJ, "Beethoven’s Fifth, Ninth and 250th," 16 Dec. 2020 Intel's Iris Xe integrated graphics card is capable of sustained 60-frames-per-second playback at 1080p resolution, which should be perfectly fine for low-intensive games like Fortnite or League of Legends. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, "The Best Alternatives to Apple's MacBook and Mac," 14 Dec. 2020 In order to play tapes recorded in obsolete formats, Iron Mountain’s Moonachie facility contains an array of vintage video and audio playback machines wide enough to supply a museum of 20th century recording technology. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood’s Fort Knox is Iron Mountain. Its latest restored treasure: Bee Gees footage," 9 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'playback.' 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 playback


1929, in the meaning defined above


1949, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for playback

Time Traveler

The first known use of playback was in 1929

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Statistics for playback

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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English Language Learners Definition of playback

: the act of causing recorded sounds or pictures to be heard or seen again
: a recording that is heard or seen again : a recording that is played back

More from Merriam-Webster on playback

Nglish: Translation of playback for Spanish Speakers

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