lu·​dic ˈlü-dik How to pronounce ludic (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterized by play : playful
ludic behavior
a ludic novel

Did you know?

Here's a serious word, just for fun. That is to say, it means "fun," but it was created in all seriousness around 1940 by psychologists. They wanted a term to describe what children do, and they came up with "ludic activity." That may seem ludicrous—why not just call it "playing"?—but the word ludic caught on, and it's not all child's play anymore. It can refer to architecture that is playful, narrative that is humorous and even satirical, and literature that is light. Ludic is ultimately from the Latin noun ludus, which refers to a whole range of fun things—stage shows, games, sports, even jokes. The more familiar word ludicrous also traces back to the same source.

Examples of ludic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Season two’s quests continue to be imaginative, ludic, and delightfully pointless. Lisa Kwon, Vulture, 5 Apr. 2024 Corsage, playing in the Un Certain Regard strand at Cannes, although a late entry to the disaffected royalty subcategory, is arguably one of the most interesting so far, much closer to the ludic, imaginative queen of the genre, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006). Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 May 2022 This ludic, and sometimes cruel, tradition continues today. Elizabeth Barber, The New Yorker, 24 Nov. 2022 For years, app developers have tried to include fun, ludic aspects to all kinds of apps, from education to fitness. Elad Natanson, Forbes, 1 June 2021 After your treatment, bliss out on the Relaxation Deck, which is wrapped by a natural spring and houses a ludic therapy pool featuring hydrotherapy, cold mist, hydro jets, pressure showers, and waterfalls. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, 3 Dec. 2020 And some notable game-makers like Firaxis Games (Civilization) and 11-Bit Studios (This War of Mine) are drawing inspiration from climate-change to craft ludic dilemmas that force players to make radical decisions in the face of overwhelming odds. Steven T. Wright, Ars Technica, 5 June 2020 Its hallmarks are relatively simple to describe, belying its revolutionary impact: There are the great cascades of left-hand chords, less ludic than Thelonious Monk’s surprise attacks but no less jagged or forceful. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2020 This ludic approach makes for some awkward challenges for the reader, who meets Edison as an old man, his children as adults and his second wife before his first. Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2019

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

Word History


French ludique, from Latin ludus

First Known Use

1940, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ludic was in 1940


Dictionary Entries Near ludic

Cite this Entry

“Ludic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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