Definition of play-act in English:

play-act

Line breaks: play-act

verb

[no object]
1Act in a play: we’ve made a craft of play-acting
More example sentences
  • Mrs Ritchie, not so much expressing herself, but play-acting.
  • You've lived some stuff I've only play-acted.
  • Bennie and Walter play-act in a repetitive chant, as Ruth embarrassingly answers the door to let in George Murchison.
1.1 [with object] Act (a scene, role, etc.): they were play-acting a western duel
More example sentences
  • It is one thing to play-act the gender role of frightened female in a movie theater where the horror is only simulated, but do I want to perform that same gender construction in real life?
  • They will see the world differently and may not be so eager to play-act violence.
  • In ID4, Smith's partner (Harry Connick, Jr.) play-acts a marriage proposal to him in a locker room.
1.2 (usually as noun play-acting) Engage in histrionic pretence: the defender indulged in some play-acting after tumbling to the ground
More example sentences
  • Otherwise it's pretending, play-acting, not really living.
  • Also had a couple of storming, skilful bursts up the park, although his penchant for play-acting rankled throughout and eventually earned him a booking.
  • Mentalizing is pervasive in everyday life, in communication and co-operation, in pedagogy, in play-acting, but also in deceiving, cheating, and outwitting.

Derivatives

play-actor

noun
More example sentences
  • Beyond this, we now find Prime Ministers who are unconscious play-actors, living out tragicomic careers as if for all the world they were indeed the authentic rulers of our time.
  • Clearly happy to live in some pantomime version of the distant Celtic past, these shabby play-actors only serve to give the concrete jungle a good name.
  • The diving play-actors, on whom referees have been instructed to clamp down, will draw scant consolation from that as they take an early bath.

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Pronunciation: ɪˈrəʊnɪəs
adjective
wrong; incorrect