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player definition


This page has 15 definitions of player in English, Middle English, and Portuguese. Player is a noun. Examples of how to use player in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Player

English player definition


From Middle English pleyer, playere, from Old English pleġere (player, athlete, wrestler), equivalent to play +‎ -er.



player (plural players)

  1. One that plays
    1. One who plays any game or sport.
      Synonym: (UK, dialectal) laker
    2. (theater) An actor in a dramatic play.
    3. (music) One who plays on a musical instrument.
    4. (gaming, video games) A gamer; a player of video games or similar.
      • 2015, Angus Slater, “Prophecy, Pre-destination, and Free-form Gameplay: The Nerevarine Prophecy in Bethesda’s ‘Morrowind’”, in Online: Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet[1], volume 7, →DOI, page 175:
        The player is free to create their own narrative within a much larger set of possible designed narrative options, or, given the geographic and dialogical openness of Morrowind, to refuse the creation of any narrative but their own and wander aimlessly through the game.
    5. (gambling) A gambler.
    6. (historical) A mechanism that actuates a player piano or other automatic musical instrument.
      • 1915, John McTammany, The Technical History of the Player:
        But up to this time the application of the player mechanism had been confined to reed instruments, the piano manufacturers having successfully resisted the introduction of the player mechanism into the piano; but, in the meantime, the manufacturers of players had grown strong and the manufacturers were beginning to properly interpret the handwriting on the wall
      • 1909, William Braid White, Regulation and Repair of Piano and Player Mechanism, ...[2], page 179:
        A Technical Treatise on Piano Player Mechanism" contains detailed description of the various types of interior and exterior players, embracing manual, pneumatic, automatic, mechanical and electric
      • 1970, Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume, Player piano: the history of the mechanical piano and how to repair it[3]:
        Electric players used either a four-lobe rotary pump belt-driven by an electric motor or a self-contained electric motor and ...
    7. (electronics) An electronic device that plays audio and/or video media.
      Is your CD player broken, or is this one disc damaged?
    8. (computing) A software application that plays audio and/or video media, such as a media player.
  2. One who is playful; one without serious aims; an idler; a trifler.
  3. A participant; one involved in something.
    He thought he could become a player, at least at the state level.
    • 2011, Suzanne Shale, Moral Leadership in Medicine, page 239:
      Decision realities research recognizes the occupational tribalism identified in occupational realities research, but goes further by paying attention to all the players – patients and lay caregivers included – who participate in negotiating care.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times[4]:
      Another Bush — George W.’s brother Jeb — is likely to be a big player in the Republican Party’s future.
    • 2021 March 10, Nigel Harris, “It's time to get on with it!”, in RAIL, number 926, page 3:
      As the biggest rail player, Network Rail was usually held accountable for failings, but had no authority to change anything to solve the problems. The DfT had been given that authority in 2004 - but consistently ducked accountability.
  4. (informal) A person who plays the field rather than having a long-term sexual relationship.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:libertine
    • 1977, Stevie Nicks (lyrics and music), “Dreams”, in Rumours, performed by Fleetwood Mac, Warner Bros.:
      Thunder only happens when it’s rainin’ / Players only love you when they’re playin’ / Say women, they will come and they will go / When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


Middle English player definition



  1. Alternative form of pleyer

Portuguese player definition


Unadapted borrowing from English player.



player m (plural players)

  1. (Brazil) (electronics) player (electronic device or software application that plays media)
    Synonyms: tocador, leitor
  2. (video games) player (a person or artificial intelligence that competes in a video game)
    Synonym: jogador


For quotations using this term, see Citations:player.