word·​play ˈwərd-ˌplā How to pronounce wordplay (audio)
: playful use of words : verbal wit

Examples of wordplay in a Sentence

Oscar Wilde was famous for his witty wordplay.
Recent Examples on the Web The purple group often involves wordplay, so bear that in mind. Kris Holt, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 There are no easy hooks or choruses here, these are two heady voices chock-full of smart wordplay, high-speed flow switches and sly changes in inflection and intonation — both of which are elevated by the ever-intensifying instrumental. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 20 Feb. 2024 In 1969, Monty Python's Flying Circus revolutionized sketch comedy with a bewildering mix of surreal satire, witty wordplay, and beguiling nonsense. Danny Horn, EW.com, 24 Jan. 2024 The results suggested that messages using jokes or wordplay sparked more brain activity. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2024 Moore’s prose is deceptively simple, full of wordplay, hilariously mordant. Vogue, 30 Dec. 2023 Coy’s wordplay packs punches in subtle and vulnerable ways. Meagan Jordan, Rolling Stone, 26 Dec. 2023 Ruscha’s art is filled with witty and insightful wordplay and puns, and this one now clings to the little volume. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2023 Printer vendors have become too bold in expecting customers to accept wordplay, settlements, and confusing support responses. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wordplay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wordplay was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near wordplay

Cite this Entry

“Wordplay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wordplay. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


word·​play ˈwərd-ˌplā How to pronounce wordplay (audio)
: wit that is based on the clever use of words

More from Merriam-Webster on wordplay

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