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 Four starters return, including national player of the year candidate Jared Butler (16 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg). USA TODAY, "Outlooks for the Top 25 teams in the USA TODAY men's basketball preseason coaches poll," 12 Nov. 2020 The player, whom the team did not identify, immediately began to self-quarantine. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens player has tested positive for COVID-19; team says there are no high-risk close contacts," 12 Nov. 2020 Bean, meanwhile, is the only returning MW player who averaged a double-double last season (11.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game). Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah State basketball picked third in Mountain West Conference," 11 Nov. 2020 Collin Morikawa: The PGA Championship winner is a wonderful iron player, which sets up well on a second-shot course like Augusta. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Masters favorites: We won't count out Tiger Woods this time," 11 Nov. 2020 Outstanding two-way player who has 21 catches for 390 yards and five TDs. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Week 7 Game of the Week prospects: Northwest Christian vs. American Leadership Queen Creek," 10 Nov. 2020 Up first, perhaps Butler's most-important player, its senior point guard. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Butler basketball roster breakdown: Aaron Thompson has to lead Dawgs on, off the court," 10 Nov. 2020 In fact, there’s not one skill player on FSU’s offense who would qualify as a surefire NFL talent. Mike Bianchi,, "Bobby Bowden to FSU coach Mike Norvell: Recruit your way out of this mess | Commentary," 10 Nov. 2020 That includes Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player, who sat out two events last month. Doug Ferguson,, "Coronavirus sidelines 2017 champion Sergio Garcia from Masters," 9 Nov. 2020

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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Player.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for player


How to pronounce player (audio)

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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