play·​thing | \ ˈplā-ˌthiŋ How to pronounce plaything (audio) \

Definition of plaything

Examples of plaything in a Sentence

VCRs were once the expensive, high-tech playthings of the rich. We mustn't let the environment become the plaything of oil companies. The emperor used people as his playthings.
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Recent Examples on the Web Names of the improperly surveilled were unmasked and leaked to toadyish reporters — as the lawbreaking became a sort of sport, a plaything, this ruining of lives. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Vote No on 1984," 2 Nov. 2020 Youth is the plaything of the novel—certainly of the bildungsroman, with its lost illusions and great expectations, and of the midlife novel, whose characters cast off the shackles of adulthood to claim the symbolic passions of an earlier age. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, "The Injustices of Aging," 7 Sep. 2020 Unlike the dreaded hornet and its ilk, these gentle giants are beloved traditional playthings. Matt Alt, The New Yorker, "Do “Murder Hornets” Really Exist?," 13 May 2020 My little one was creating playthings out of my parents' books and tchotchkes. S. Mitra Kalita, CNN, "I'm the quarantine buffer among three generations of my family. All in one house," 11 Apr. 2020 Every year, a month or two after Christmas, business picks up for Anelis Coscioni, who runs a dozen ‘‘toy libraries’’ that lend puzzles, dollhouses, train sets, and other playthings throughout Sioux Falls, S.D., and neighboring towns. Cathy Free,, "Growing trend lets kids check out games and dolls from a toy library," 25 Jan. 2020 Like a certain other seasonal plaything that sits on a shelf, Peep on a Perch comes with a storybook and a plush. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Peep on a Perch Is a Springtime Take on the Elf on the Shelf," 9 Mar. 2020 Think those handmade playthings are beyond your skillset? oregonlive, "Build model airplanes, floatable boats, soapbox racers at home: Oregon maker’s 5 tips," 29 Apr. 2020 April 8, 2020 What’s the best pleasure-providing plaything for your house party of one? Los Angeles Times, "How to find the pandemic sex toy that’s right for you," 14 Apr. 2020

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

circa 1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for plaything

Time Traveler

The first known use of plaything was circa 1674

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Statistics for plaything

Cite this Entry

“Plaything.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for plaything



English Language Learners Definition of plaything

: a toy
: a person or thing that you treat in a careless way and use for your own amusement or advantage


play·​thing | \ ˈplā-ˌthiŋ How to pronounce plaything (audio) \

Kids Definition of plaything

More from Merriam-Webster on plaything

Nglish: Translation of plaything for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plaything for Arabic Speakers

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