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play out - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyplay out
he/she/itplays out
present participleplaying out
past tenseplayed out
past participleplayed out
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to develop or end in a particular way

    They disagreed violently, and no one knew how the situation would play out.

  2. 2
    [transitive] [always passive] if an event or situation is played out in a particular way, it happens in that way

    His career as a writer was played out against a background of alcoholism.

  3. 3
    [transitive] if you play out a situation, you pretend that it is really happening
  4. 4
    [transitive] play out something to continue to play a sport until the end of a particular period

    She played out the rest of her career in America.

See also main entry: play


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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