What does ‘play’ mean?

The word ‘play’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to do a sport or activity for fun.

For example:

  • I love playing badminton. (do a sport)
  • Libby is playing with her dolly. (do an activity)

Play is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is played.

phrasal verbs with play

Phrasal verbs with ‘play’ include:

  • Play about/around (be silly)
  • Play along (agree with)
  • Play away (cheat)
  • Play back (watch/listen to something you recorded)
  • Play down (make something seem less important)
  • Play on (continue playing)
  • Play out (see what happens)
  • Play up (misbehave)
  • Play with (use objects for fun)
phrasal verbs with play

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘play’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with play - around/about
phrasal verbs with play - play along
phrasal verbs with play - play away
phrasal verbs with play - play back
phrasal verbs with play - play down
phrasal verbs with play - play on
phrasal verbs with play - play out
phrasal verbs with play - play up
phrasal verbs with play - play with

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with play below.

idioms with verbs – PLAY

Did you know that many idiomatic expressions (idioms) in English also contain a lot of verbs? Just like phrasal verbs, idioms are a major part of the English language (slang in particular). They are used constantly amongst native English speakers and are handy to know and understand.

Now you’ve learnt all the phrasal verbs with play, how about learning the idioms with play too?