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.

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 During the live show, these nominees will be honored, along with the player of the year in each sport. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 May 2022 Although spring sports end too late to name player of the year nominees in the show, wanted to honor the spring sports athletes. The Indianapolis Star, 18 May 2022 The Celtics said Monday that Marcus Smart, their starting point guard and the league’s defensive player of the year, is questionable for Game 1 because of a foot sprain. New York Times, 17 May 2022 Payne is the two-time defending Miami Valley Conference-Scarlet player of the year. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, 14 May 2022 Last season, Kupp won the NFL offensive player of the year award after leading the league in catches (145Z), yards receiving (1,947) and touchdown catches (16). Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Senior outfielder KB Sides was named SEC player of the year, junior Chenise Delce was named SEC pitcher of the year and Courtney Deifel was named coach of the year in the awards voted on by league coaches. Matt Jones, Arkansas Online, 13 May 2022 Merrill was named the defensive player of the year six years in a row. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 May 2022 Hailey Borja, the Wolverines' next most consistent player of the tournament, put together another complete round. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of player

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Dictionary Entries Near player

played out


player piano

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Statistics for player

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for player


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on player

Nglish: Translation of player for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of player for Arabic Speakers


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