play·er | \ˈplā-ər \

Definition of player 

: one that plays: such as

a : a person who plays a game

b : musician

c : actor

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for player


actor, partaker, participant, participator, party, sharer



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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

Other niche players have caught on to the idea that high-performance and electric propulsion are far from mutually exclusive—and may soon become synonymous. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Pininfarina's Back With a $2 Million Electric Hypercar," 14 July 2018 The woman ended up with a new seatmate, Euan Holden, a former pro soccer player turned model, and chatted with him throughout the flight. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Unidentified Plane Bae Woman's Statement Confirms the Worst," 13 July 2018 Behind a screen, puppets mounted on long, slim sticks dance and sway, twirling, backlit so that only their dark shadows appear, while puppeteers called Karagyoz players sing, provide sound effects and create voices for the characters. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian, "Illuminating the Shadowy Art of Armenian Puppet Theater," 13 July 2018 By most accounts, North Chicago’s Heaven Knox had turned into a one-dimensional player by the end of her sophomore year. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "School of hard Knox: Junior point guard Heaven Knox puts in the extra work for North Chicago," 13 July 2018 Jeff Passan tweets: Dodgers have stepped up pursuit of a position player and are looking beyond Manny Machado. Have had conversations with Reds about Scooter Gennett, Twins about Brian Dozier and Mets about Asdrubal Cabrera. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds need the off day, and other MLB thoughts," 12 July 2018 Mauricio Pochettino would be able to mould him into even more of an all round player., "Why Tottenham Should Move to Sign Colombia Defender Yerry Mina From Barcelona," 12 July 2018 In a moment captured by cameras, Southgate — a former player himself who ended up managing the English national team for his first World Cup this year — shared a tender embrace with his wife, Alison, in the empty stands. Raisa Bruner, Time, "This Is the Most Tender Photo of the World Cup So Far," 12 July 2018 Shelton passed away Sunday night in Los Angeles after battling health issues since suffering a heart attack on May 5, according to his son, Marlon, a former basketball player at the University of Washington. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Lonnie Shelton, starter for Sonics’ 1979 NBA title winners, dies at age 62," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for player

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for player

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

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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 \

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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Comments on player

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


one that holds something together

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