play·​thing | \ˈplā-ˌthiŋ \

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Meantime, at rival Mattel Inc., MAT -0.27% which sells American Girl dolls and Ghostbusters action figures in addition to Barbies and other playthings, the figure was closer to $6,300. Theo Francis, WSJ, "Why Mattel and Hasbro Workers Are a World Apart on Pay," 13 Apr. 2018 Those playthings top a list of 10 questionable toys issued Thursday by World Against Toys Causing Harm, better known by its acronym, W.A.T.C.H., "Saddleback Mountain buyer accused of bilking investor," 21 June 2018 The brand’s signature case is unspeakably expensive, oddly tactical (all that aluminum!), and built, like so many playthings of the rich, to look better once beaten up. Sam Schube, GQ, "Magazine," 16 June 2018 In the past five years, drones have gone from being an expensive plaything for hobbyists to a much more ubiquitous tool. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "When Drones Got You Down, Call In the Eagles," 22 Feb. 2017 Matt Townsend looked into an 58-year-old toy that’s become much, much more than a mere plaything., "Barbie’s Torrid Rise, Awkward Fall and Surprise Comeback," 26 June 2017 For generations of parents, Toys R Us was the go-to spot to reward a child after scoring the winning soccer goal or to find the hot plaything at holiday time. USA TODAY, "If Toys R Us goes away, where will shoppers go?," 11 Mar. 2018 Hence, mountains of garish, plastic playthings that crowd closets and landfills. Kelly Michèle Guerotto, WSJ, "Kids’ Play Kitchens That Adults Might Actually Envy," 11 Apr. 2018 Cars were thin on the ground, still playthings for the rich and at least a couple of decades away from mass production. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "Are We Living in the Golden Age of Cycling?," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of plaything

circa 1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plaything

Statistics for plaything

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plaything

The first known use of plaything was circa 1674

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of plaything

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on plaything

What made you want to look up plaything? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!