Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: role-play·ing
Pronunciation: /ˈrōlˌplāiNG/
(also role-play)

Definition of role-playing in English:


1chiefly Psychology The acting out or performance of a particular role, either consciously (as a technique in psychotherapy or training) or unconsciously, in accordance with the perceived expectations of society with regard to a person’s behavior in a particular context.
Example sentences
  • Marks mentioned a tactic in this regard of role playing - she sometimes ‘becomes the student’ and asks the students to teach her.
  • They do walking exercises, toss a fluffy ball from hand to hand, play corporate musical chairs and indulge in various forms of role play.
  • A number of scenarios can be used, and with a little imagination an interesting, complex and interactive role play can be developed.
2Participation in a role-playing game.
Example sentences
  • There is general consensus in the literature that role playing stimulates student participation and enlivens discussion because it increases student identification and empathy with the case.
  • Interviewers were trained in a group setting that included role play, mock interviews, and a field test in an Accra neighborhood.
  • Activities such as group work, discussion, role-playing, and hands-on projects are all components of the active learning classroom.



Pronunciation: /ˈrōlˌplā/
Example sentences
  • When her daughter role-plays with her dolls, she doesn't spend time looking for Barbie's missing red pump.
  • As part of the training, they also practiced and role-played the administration of the interview.
  • Marvolo came back up, ‘You can't even role play it, can you?’


Example sentences
  • The most active role player in the civil war has often shown his ability as a serious saboteur of events.
  • In order to obtain support of parents and other relevant role players, researchers, educators, and policy makers should take local cultural traditions into account.
  • Each day we selected two communication scenarios, using role players from different ethnic backgrounds.

Definition of role-playing in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
lively; cheerful