word·play | \ˈwərd-ˌplā \

Definition of wordplay 

: 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

Filled with wordplay and tongue-in-cheek references to the haters and negativity that the group has encountered in the past, the song came out of the group’s fifth-anniversary 2018 Festa celebrations. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' ARMY Reacts to 'Ddaeng' Diss Track," 11 June 2018 Repartee, off-the-cuff jokes, wordplay (suboptimal is a favorite theme-word), pop references, and a lot of bald-guy jokes (since Bennett is one and Davies will be) punctuate knowledgeable, indeed obsessive, football talk. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Men in Blazers: 'This is easily the greatest World Cup in the history of the entire universe'," 2 July 2018 With inventive flows, razor-sharp wordplay, and an infectious, laid-back delivery, Reyna quickly made a name for herself within Monterrey’s scene. Andrea Alonso, Los Angeles Magazine, "Why You Should be Listening to Mexican-Born, L.A.-Based Rapper Niña Dioz," 5 June 2018 The Wall Street Journal’s Robert McMillan explores how security experts and techies lean on puns and punchy wordplay to make their discoveries stand out. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "CMO Today: Zuckerberg Returns From Washington; Facebook Time Spent Slips; E-Cig Ads Recall Big Tobacco Creative," 12 Apr. 2018 But why a gecko should come to represent an insurance company baffled him, beyond the obvious wordplay, which seemed weak even for advertising and was outdone only by the Aflac Duck. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 You'll be smitten by witty banter and clever wordplay, so enjoy cultivating these buoyant, intellectual bonds. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's June 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 May 2018 Watson could parse the game’s clues and handle wordplay. Joshua Sokol, The Atlantic, "AI Keeps Mastering Games, But Can It Win in the Real World?," 27 Feb. 2018 Literary fiction, under the sign of modernism, became too obsessed with experimentation and wordplay, while journalism, under the imperative of objectivity, adopted an arid view from nowhere. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Tom Wolfe reunited journalism with literature.," 15 May 2018

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

1794, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for wordplay

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for wordplay

The first known use of wordplay was in 1794

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English Language Learners Definition of wordplay

: playful or clever use of words

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a state of commotion or excitement

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