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 Allen, 25, was a rotational player as a rookie in 2018. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: UCLA advances to Final Four, USC does not," 31 Mar. 2021 While his college film is limited compared to other top prospects, Joseph has long been a player with the type of natural gifts that excite coaches and scouts. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kelvin Joseph impresses with blazing 40-yard dash time at Kentucky football pro day," 31 Mar. 2021 That Prince would be the player to challenge the all mighty NCAA should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her story. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Sedona Prince has left her mark on NCAA Tournament, women's sports," 30 Mar. 2021 Toney is an all-purpose player who is also a return specialist. oregonlive, "NFL mock draft 2021 (3.0): San Francisco 49ers select a QB, but which one? Oregon’s Penei Sewell selected at No. 5 to the Bengals; trades and other predictions," 29 Mar. 2021 Edge Surtain, whose father was a standout player at the same position for the Dolphins, is a technician, whose game is fundamentally sound. Omar Kelly,, "Omar Kelly’s first-round 2021 NFL mock draft: Who will Dolphins select at picks 6 and 18?," 29 Mar. 2021 In addition to being an aspiring artist, at Cass Tech Robinson was a varsity basketball player and excelled in the high jump and broad jump on the track team., "For Detroiter Donald Robinson art has always meant 'an opportunity to soar'," 29 Mar. 2021 Ethan's older brother, Stephen Thompson Jr., was a four-year player at Oregon State (2016-19). Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "Four things to know about Oregon State NCAA Tournament star Ethan Thompson," 28 Mar. 2021 Head football coach Dane Damron told the newspaper that Lynch was a good player and an outgoing man., "Virginia Beach man killed by police played college football," 28 Mar. 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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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