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 Videocassette technology was too primitive in 1969 to allow movies and a playback system to be sent to the moon without adding a great deal of additional mass that would require significant amounts of extra fuel. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "Detritus on the Moon," 26 Nov. 2019 The options are more complex, too: satellite radio, playback controls, map panning. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Technology Sabotaged Public Safety," 10 Oct. 2019 Upgraded offline playback controls are a pretty minor feature in the grand scheme of things, and there is no shortage of apps available on the Play Store that have better controls than what Files will offer. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google’s Files app for Android gets improved local media controls," 1 Aug. 2019 Originally launched as a video playback app in 2011, MX Player has since grown to be India’s second-largest over-the-top (OTT) service. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Tencent just added video streaming to its already diverse India portfolio," 30 Oct. 2019 The Rookie’ more than doubles its Live + Same Day total viewer average (+103%) and adult 18-49 rating (+117%) after seven days of TV playback. oregonlive, "ABC orders a full season of Portland-set series, ‘Stumptown’," 28 Oct. 2019 Generally, device makers are ahead; Apple, for instance, claims that its iPhone XR model offers up to 16 hours of video playback time—roughly double what the original iPhone had. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "These 3 Simple Things Will Make Your Phone's Battery Last Longer," 28 May 2019 Before the deadlock, the panel examined the photos again and spent hours listening to a playback of portions of testimony from Strolla and the woman. Marc Freeman,, "Foot doctor convicted of voyeurism; mistrial on rape charges," 16 Sep. 2019 Huawei promises four hours of playback in a single charge or 20 hours when used with the charging case. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Tech From IFA 2019," 10 Sep. 2019

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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Playback.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for playback


How to pronounce play back (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with playback

Nglish: Translation of playback for Spanish Speakers

Comments on playback

What made you want to look up playback? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


delight or enjoyment

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