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 Perhaps no player has been as consistent as Delon Wright in that span, though. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Delon Wright injured during Detroit Pistons' road loss to Memphis Grizzlies," 20 Feb. 2021 Increasing her odds: No player in the state reached the 50-40-90 mark this season. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Way-too-early look at 2022 IndyStar Miss Basketball race," 19 Feb. 2021 After all, no player or manager was inducted into the Hall of Fame and returned to their same line of work. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "'I know how I'm going to be judged': Tony La Russa welcomes the scrutiny in return as White Sox manager," 17 Feb. 2021 Outside of Xander Bogaerts, who has no-trade rights, no Red Sox player can be sure he won’t be dealt. Peter Abraham,, "Red Sox, off another roiling winter, hurt by anything-but-routine spring," 15 Feb. 2021 No other player in NBA history has suffered a torn ACL and a torn Achilles without appearing in a game between the injuries. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Klay Thompson's latest injury rehab is different in one key way for Warriors," 11 Feb. 2021 Novak Djokovic: No player has taken a bigger PR hit over the past 12 months than Djokovic, the defending champion. Star Tribune, "Australian Open takes reins as first major international sports tournament of 2021," 6 Feb. 2021 Facing an undermanned Golden State team that had no player taller than 6-foot-7, Dallas got pummeled 147-116 Thursday night at American Airlines Center – the Mavericks’ sixth straight defeat at home. Dallas News, "Depleted Warriors annihilate Mavericks defense in second half of 147-116 blowout," 5 Feb. 2021 No player tested positive for COVID-19 during that period. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio expected to host entire 2021 NCAA women's basketball tournament," 4 Feb. 2021

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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Statistics for player

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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More Definitions for player



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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