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 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 This mini dress is all about the playful polka dots. NBC News, "Best summer dresses to shop in 2020, according to experts," 22 June 2020 The pair often engage in playful social media ribbing, including a jab from Brady when Manning joined Twitter in May. Lindsay Kimble,, "ESPY Awards Poke Fun at Tom Brady with Tiger King-Inspired Spoof Starring J.K. Simmons," 21 June 2020 This playful track, featured in an earlier episode this season, is our way of saying goodbye, for now. CNN, "Start your Monday smart: Flag Day, refugees, solstice, Juneteenth, Trump's birthday," 14 June 2020 This not only captures many of the playful aspects of rural entertainment but, along the way, shares how fiddle music traveled upriver to Alaska villages and was adapted into cultural practices. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Journey to Interior Alaska and its peopled past with this joyful, lyrical memoir," 13 June 2020 This darling gray and white tabby is super friendly and playful, gets along well with other cats, and likes to be picked up and cuddled. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Betsy and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 12 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

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Playful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 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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