play·​er ˈplā-ər How to pronounce player (audio)
: one that plays: such as
: a person who plays a game
a baseball player
a chess player
She's one of the team's best players.
: a person who plays a musical instrument
a piano player
: 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
: a device that reproduces recorded material (such as video images or music) from a usually specified medium
a CD player
: one actively involved especially in a competitive field or process : participant
a key player in politics
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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web While quarterbacks like Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow have all cashed in on extensions in 2023, no player has topped the total value of Mahomes’ contract with the Chiefs. Scott Thompson, Fox News, 19 Sep. 2023 After the offseason departures of longtime team leader Justin Turner, homegrown MVP Cody Bellinger and popular shortstop Trea Turner, even some players were curious to see exactly who this year’s team would revolve around. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2023 The first 10 players to do it were Mike Trout, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Andre Dawson, Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 18 Sep. 2023 The players will be there to encourage participation from all ethnicities, working in two-person shifts for 30 minutes at various times throughout the day. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 The initiative was unveiled by FHF ambassador Amitabh Bachchan alongside FHF founder Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Olympic gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra, hockey legend M.M. Somaya and badminton player Aparna Popat. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 18 Sep. 2023 Enter Email Sign Up The major Bloomsbury players are well known outside academic circles. Chris Vognar,, 18 Sep. 2023 And the playlist, filled with the younger generation’s favorites, brought out the dance moves (both good and bad) from several players. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 Multiple players cited Milroe’s leadership on the sidelines as a contributing factor to the 17-3 victory. Nick Alvarez |, al, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'player.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near player

Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


play·​er ˈplā-ər How to pronounce player (audio)
: a person who plays a game
: actor
: a device for playing recorded material (as music)
an MP3 player

More from Merriam-Webster on player

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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