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Pronunciation: /pleɪ/

Translation of play in Spanish:


  • 1 1.1 uncountable/no numerable (recreation) juego (masculine) they learn through play aprenden jugando or a través del juego she watched them at play los observaba mientras jugaban to make great play of sth poner* gran énfasis en algo
    Example sentences
    • The children introduced themselves through song and words and we watched them at play.
    • There's a pause in the game, and the TV begins showing cute little kittens at play.
    • While at play, toddlers and young children are usually in the care of older siblings.
    1.2 uncountable/no numerable [Sport/Deporte] juego (masculine) play was interrupted se interrumpió el juego or el partido the ball is out of play la pelota está fuera de juego to bring sth/come into play poner* algo/entrar en juego 1.3 countable/numerable (turn, move) it's your play now te toca (a ti) 1.4 countable/numerable (American English/inglés norteamericano) [Sport/Deporte] (maneuver) jugada (feminine) to make a play for sb/sth (also British English/también inglés británico) he made a play for her trató de ganársela or de conquistársela the company made a play for ownership of ABC Industries la compañía intentó hacerse con ABC Industries
    Example sentences
    • He walks off the pitch to get treatment, Nigeria kick the ball out of play so he can come back on.
    • Prop Howard Carr kicked a penalty into touch and the ball bounced back into play after hitting a tree.
    • The ball goes out of play and he gets to his feet with the air about him of a man who'd settle for a corner.
    Example sentences
    • But Woodson is getting more chances to make big plays in the passing game this season.
    • He is strong enough to play off blocks and make plays in the running game and agile enough to be an asset in coverage.
    • At moments in a game great plays are needed, no matter what the defense, and the superstar shifts gears.
  • 2 uncountable/no numerable (interplay) juego (masculine) the play of light and shadow el juego de luces y sombras
    Example sentences
    • It also recognises the fact that the free play of markets creates problems for society.
  • 3 uncountable/no numerable (slack) [Technology/Tecnología] juego (masculine) there's not enough play in the schedule el plan de trabajo es demasiado apretado or no deja ningún margen to give sth full play dar* rienda suelta a algo
    Example sentences
    • The action is smooth, the cylinder locks up tightly with very little play, and the trigger pull is light and crisp.
    • Since then there's been a lot of play in the steering.
  • 5 countable/numerable (pun) a play on words un juego de palabras

transitive verb/verbo transitivo

  • 2 2.1 (compete against) [opponent/team] jugar* contra we're playing them in the finals en la final jugamos contra ellosto play sb at sth I used to play her at chess jugaba ajedrez or (Spain/España) (River Plate area/Río de la Plata) al ajedrez con ella 2.2 [ball] pasar; [card] tirar, jugar*; [piece] mover* 2.3 (in particular position) [inside left/quarterback] jugar* de which position are you playing? ¿en qué posición juegas?, ¿de qué juegas? 2.4 (use in game) [reserve] alinear, sacar* a jugar
  • 3 (gamble on) jugar* a to play the horses/dogs [colloquial/familiar] jugar* a los caballos/galgos to play the market [Finance] jugar* a la bolsa
  • 5 [Theater/Teatro] 5.1 [villain/Hamlet] representar el papel de, hacer* de, actuar* de don't play the clown! ¡no (te) hagas el payaso!, ¡no hagas payasadas! don't play the innocent with me! ¡no te me hagas el inocente! 5.2 [drama] representar, dar*; [scene] representar to play it cool hacer* como si nada to play (it) dumb hacerse* el tonto to play (it) safe ir* a la segura, no arriesgarse* to play (it) smart ser* listo to play (it) straight ser* sincero or honesto [Literat] [Theater/Teatro] representar el papel sin artificios, actuar* con naturalidad 5.3 [theater/town] actuar* en
  • 6 [Audio] [tape/record] poner* they only play classical music (on radio) solo tocan or pasan música clásica
  • 7 (treat) [literary/literario] to play sb fair tratar bien a algn to play sb false engañar a algn
  • 8 (move) (+ adverb complement/+ adverbio predicativo) to play the spotlight over the stage recorrer el escenario con el reflector they played the hoses over the blaze movían las mangueras sobre las llamas
  • 9 (in angling) [Sport/Deporte] [fish] agotar

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo

  • 1 (amuse oneself) [children] jugar* we tried to persuade him but he wouldn't play [colloquial/familiar] tratamos de convencerlo pero no quiso saber nada to play at sth jugar* a algo they were playing at cops and robbers estaban jugando a ladrones y policías what are you playing at? ¿a qué estás jugando?, ¿qué es lo que te propones? to play with sb/sth jugar* con algn/algo she played with her toys/friends jugaba con sus juguetes/amigos I played with the idea lo pensé, le di vueltas a la idea I feel you're just playing with me me parece que solo estás jugando conmigo or que te estás burlando de mí to play with words jugar* con las palabras we don't have much time/money to play with no disponemos de mucho tiempo/de mucho dinero to play with oneself [euphemistic/eufemístico] toquetearse [euphemistic/eufemístico] to play fast and loose with sb/sth jugar* con algn/algo
  • 2 [Games/Juegos] [Sport/Deporte] jugar* play! ¡que empiece el juego! to play for money jugar* por dinero whose turn is it to play? ¿a quién le toca (jugar)? the court is playing well today la cancha está en buenas condiciones hoy to play fair jugar* limpio to play fair with sb ser* justo con algn to play straight with sb ser* sincero con algn
  • 3 3.1 [Theater/Teatro] [cast] actuar*, trabajar; [show] ser* representado the musical has been playing to packed houses el musical ha estado llenando las salas 3.2 (pretend) to play dead hacerse* el muerto to play hard to get hacerse* el ( or la etc) interesante
  • 4 [Music/Música] [musician] tocar* he's going to play for us nos va a tocar algo there was military music playing all day (on radio) tocaron or pasaron música militar todo el día
  • 5 (move) lights played across the night sky un juego de luces recorrió el cielo nocturno a smile played about his lips un atisbo de sonrisa rondaba sus labios

Phrasal verbs

play about

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio (British English/inglés británico)
juguetear [colloquial/familiar] [pejorative/peyorativo]

play along

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio (cooperate) I refuse to play along with him/his schemes me niego a hacerle el juego/a tener nada que ver con sus enjuagues [colloquial/familiar] 1.1verb + object + adverb/verbo + complemento + adverbio (deceive, manipulate) manipular, utilizar*

play around

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio
jugar*, juguetear [colloquial/familiar] [pejorative/peyorativo] I haven't got time to play around no tengo tiempo para andar con jueguitos [colloquial/familiar] I don't want them playing around with my stereo no quiero que anden (jugando) con mi estéreo [colloquial/familiar] he's playing around with other women anda con otras [colloquial/familiar], tiene líos con otras [colloquial/familiar]

play back

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
poner* ([ una grabación ])

play down

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
[importance] minimizar*; [risk/achievement] quitarle or restarle importancia a, minimizar* they tried to play down the seriousness of the situation intentaron quitarle or restarle importancia a la gravedad de la situación, intentaron minimizar la gravedad de la situación

play in

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
the guests were played in by the band los invitados hicieron su entrada al son de la música de la banda

play off

1.1verb + object + adverb/verbo + complemento + adverbio oponer* to play sb off against sb she plays her parents off against each other hace pelear a sus padres para lograr sus propósitos 1.2verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio jugar* el desempate the two teams will play off to decide who's promoted los dos equipos jugarán la promoción

play on

verb + adverb + object/verbo + adverbio + complemento
1.1 [fears/generosity] aprovecharse de, explotar 1.2 [words] jugar* con 1.3 (disturb) [nerves/health] afectar

play out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento
1.1 (enact) (usually passive/normalmente en voz pasiva) interpretar 1.2 (finish) [game] terminar, acabar to play out time [Sport/Deporte] hacer* tiempo 1.3 [Music/Música] despedir* ([ con música ])

play up

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio (British English/inglés británico) 1.1 (cause trouble) [colloquial/familiar] [child] dar* guerra [colloquial/familiar], portarse mal the car is playing up el coche anda mal or [colloquial/familiar] está haciendo de las suyas my back has been playing up la espalda me ha estado fastidiando or [colloquial/familiar] dando la lata 1.2 (flatter) to play up to sb halagar* a algn, darle* coba a algn (Spain/España) [colloquial/familiar] 1.1verb + object + adverb/verbo + complemento + adverbio (cause trouble) (British English/inglés británico) [colloquial/familiar], [child] darle* guerra a [colloquial/familiar] my shoulder's playing me up el hombro me está fastidiando or [colloquial/familiar] dando la lata 1.2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento (exaggerate) exagerar

play upon

play on

Definition of play in:

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Cultural fact of the day

The language of the Basque Country and Navarre is euskera, spoken by around 750,000 people; in Spanish vasco or vascuence. It is also spelled euskara. Basque is unrelated to the Indo-European languages and its origins are unclear. Like Spain's other regional languages, Basque was banned under Franco. With the return of democracy, it became an official language alongside Spanish, in the regions where it is spoken. It is a compulsory school subject and is required for many official and administrative posts in the Basque Country. There is Basque language television and radio and a considerable number of books are published in Basque. See also lenguas cooficiales