word·​play | \ ˈwərd-ˌplā How to pronounce wordplay (audio) \

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

These include the Hammer’s retrospective of Los Angeles conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg and the Marciano Art Foundation’s show of Glenn Ligon’s searing wordplay work. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "‘We Just Need to Create a Moment’: Art Market Looks to L.A.," 12 Feb. 2019 Alice’s return to Wonderland — where she gets dispatched on an emergency search for tea-party refreshments — is an LGBTQ-pride edition that puts a more adult spin on the punning wordplay and is performed by an all-male cast that rocks its frocks. Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "The 99-Seat Beat: Come in. Aleichem and Churchill are waiting," 15 June 2018 Which seems like a cheeky bit of wordplay until one remembers that the word has a historical antecedent with important context. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 Blindspotting is thus laced with wordplay, at times spinning out into full-on freestyling, and this furnishes some of the most memorable moments in the film (including its ending). Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Blindspotting is the rare buddy comedy that tackles social issues. It works.," 19 July 2018 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

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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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wordplay

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showing courage and determination

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