play·​er | \ ˈplā-ər How to pronounce player (audio) \

Definition of player

: one that plays: such as
a : a person who plays a game a baseball player a chess player She's one of the team's best players.
b : a person who plays a musical instrument a piano player
c : actor … what drew these audiences was the emergence of the movie star from the ranks of the wholly anonymous players of a decade earlier.— David Nasaw
d : a device that reproduces recorded material (such as video images or music) from a usually specified medium a CD player
e : one actively involved especially in a competitive field or process : participant a key player in politics
f or less commonly playa, US slang : a person and especially a man who has many lovers Handsome and a well-paid professional, Keith, 35, chose to be a player, juggling a series of relatively brief and sometimes over-lapping intimate relationships with women.— Michel Marriott This album has a lot of sexual references. It's almost like Bobby's … a playa.— Elliott Wilson

Note: The variant playa is more common in transcribed speech.

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Examples of player in a Sentence

She's one of the team's best players. The band's lead guitar player hurt his hand and couldn't play. Piano players are called pianists.
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Recent Examples on the Web This is the first time an Ohio State player has taken home Offensive Player of the Year. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Former Ohio State football player Michael Thomas named Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year," 1 Feb. 2020 Still, there aren't players of Juszczyk's caliber simply lying around. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Super Bowl 2020: 49ers' Kyle Juszczyk brings NFL fullbacks back from brink of extinction," 1 Feb. 2020 But that’s exactly what the players of the Last Man try to do. Julia Wickstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California Week in Review: Saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant," 1 Feb. 2020 The five-rings champion basketball player was 41 WHENEVER HE WAS asked why his whole life had been spent playing basketball, Kobe Bryant’s narrow eyes searched upwards, and his mouth trembled. The Economist, "Love story Kobe Bryant died on January 26th," 1 Feb. 2020 Almost 36,000 votes were cast for basketball players of the week in Huntsville, Birmingham and Coastal regions of the state. Dennis Victory, al, "See basketball player of the week winners in Huntsville, Birmingham, Coastal regions for Jan. 27," 31 Jan. 2020 Nwora, the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year and the centerpiece of Louisville’s high-powered (if inconsistent) offense, ignited the Cardinals with a career-high 37 points to lead his team to an 86-69 win over the host Eagles. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "The Jordan Rules: Nwora's career high helps Louisville basketball push past Boston College," 30 Jan. 2020 The ad will feature basketball star LeBron James, the L.A. Lakers player and close friend of the late Kobe Bryant. NBC News, "LeBron takes Super Bowl off roading in GM's new electric Hummer," 30 Jan. 2020 The American Athletic Conference's reigning player of the year had a season-high 28 points Tuesday night, and Cincinnati led the whole way during a 65-43 victory over SMU, its seventh straight win over the Mustangs. Joe Kay, Houston Chronicle, "Cumberland's 28 points lead Cincinnati over SMU," 28 Jan. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for player

Time Traveler

The first known use of player was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for player


How to pronounce player (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of player

: a person who plays a sport or game
: a person who performs music usually on a particular instrument
: a machine that causes recorded sounds or pictures to be heard or seen


play·​er | \ ˈplā-ər How to pronounce player (audio) \

Kids Definition of player

1 : a person who participates in a game
2 : a person who produces sound on a musical instrument
3 : a device that reproduces sounds or video images that have been recorded (as on magnetic tape or a hard drive)

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More from Merriam-Webster on player

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for player

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with player

Spanish Central: Translation of player

Nglish: Translation of player for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of player for Arabic Speakers

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