play·​ful | \ ˈplā-fəl How to pronounce playful (audio) \

Definition of playful

1 : full of play : frolicsome, sportive a playful kitten

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Other Words from playful

playfully \ ˈplā-​fə-​lē How to pronounce playfully (audio) \ adverb
playfulness noun

Examples of playful in a Sentence

She's an old dog, but she's still very playful. He had a playful expression on his face. a playful tone of voice You're certainly in a playful mood! She gave him a light playful slap on the knee.
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Recent Examples on the Web Following her Instagram Live video, Kloots shared intimate family videos with Cordero, including a video of the couple singing karaoke and playful footage of her husband dancing with their newborn son, Elvis, now 1. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Teary Amanda Kloots sings 'Live Your Life' with fans one last time after Nick Cordero dies," 7 July 2020 The two exchange some playful barbs, but Birdy's all business. Matt Cabral,, "Perry Mason recap: Paul Drake delivers a new clue with some serious bite," 6 July 2020 This one includes a bold print with a playful ruffle detail on the front. Christie Calucchia, Southern Living, "Lilly Pulitzer Just Discounted Over 700 Items for Its Huge Summer Sale," 29 June 2020 According to Outdoor Voices, the collaboration was inspired by a desire to get more women to break into cycling, which rarely offers up the sort of playful workout gear that other sports tend to do. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Latest Outdoor Voices Collaboration Goes Perfectly With Your Impulse Bike Buy," 24 June 2020 Eventually, during a brief conversation, Harbaugh threw out a playful recruiting pitch. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Why an LSU pitcher is joining the football team," 22 June 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has produced a vast number of new terms, serious and (mostly) playful, to describe the predicaments of lockdown. The Economist, "Johnson The rules of coronaspeak," 27 June 2020 Each seat is elegantly accented by a crisp cushion, while a few throw pillows add a little something playful. Mark Heim |, al, "Outdoor furniture sale offers up to 50 percent off deals on sectionals, patio umbrellas, lighting," 24 June 2020 Petersen’s bot of choice is Paro, an adorable, playful device from Japan that helps her patients feel less lonely. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "There’s No Cure for Covid-19 Loneliness, but Robots Can Help," 22 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'playful.' 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 playful

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for playful

Time Traveler

The first known use of playful was in the 13th century

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Statistics for playful

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Playful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for playful


How to pronounce playful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of playful

: happy and full of energy : eager to play
: showing that you are having fun and not being serious


play·​ful | \ ˈplā-fəl How to pronounce playful (audio) \

Kids Definition of playful

1 : full of energy and a desire for fun a playful kitten
2 : not serious : humorous a playful mood

Other Words from playful

playfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
playfulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on playful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for playful

Spanish Central: Translation of playful

Nglish: Translation of playful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of playful for Arabic Speakers

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