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PLAU-SI-BIL'I-TY, n. [s as z. See Plausible.]

Speciousness; superficial appearance of right. – Swift.

PLAUS'I-BLE, a. [s as z. L. plausibilis, from plaudo, to clap hands in token of approbation; W. bloez, an outcry; bloeziaw, to shout; blozest, applause, acclamation; Ir. bladh, blaodh; from the root of Gr. κλειω, L. laus, laudo, Eng. loud.]

  1. That may be applauded; that may gain favor or approbation; hence, superficially pleasing; apparently right; specious; popular; as, a plausible argument; a plausible pretext; a plausible doctrine.
  2. Using specious arguments or discourse; as, a plausible man.


Speciousness; show of right or propriety; as, the plausibleness of Arminianism. – Sanderson.


With fair show; speciously; in a manner adapted to gain favor or approbation. They could talk plausibly about what they did not understand. – Collier.


  1. Applauding; manifesting praise.
  2. Plausible. – Shak.

PLAY, n.

  1. Any exercise or series of actions intended for pleasure, amusement or diversion, as at cricket or quoit, or at blind man's buff.
  2. Amusement; sport; frolick; gambols. – Spenser. Two gentle fawns at play. – Milton.
  3. Game; gaming; practice of contending for victory, for amusement or for a prize, as at dice, cards or billiards.
  4. Practice in any contest; as, sword-play. He was resolved not to speak distinctly, knowing his best play to be in the dark. – Tillotson. John naturally loved rough play. – Arbuthnot.
  5. Action; use: employment; office. But justifies the next who comes in play. – Dryden.
  6. Practice; action; manner of acting in contest or negotiation; as, fair play; foul play.
  7. A dramatic composition; a comedy or tragedy; a composition in which characters are represented by dialogue and action. A play ought to be a just image of human nature. – Dryden.
  8. Representation or exhibition of a comedy or tragedy; as, to be at the play. He attends every play.
  9. Performance on an instrument of music.
  10. Motion; movement, regular or irregular; as, the play of a wheel or piston.
  11. State of agitation or discussion. Many have been sav'd, and many may, / Who never heard this question brought in play. – Dryden.
  12. Room for motion. The joints are let exactly into one another, that they have no play between them. – Moxon.
  13. Liberty of acting; room for enlargement or display; scope; as, to give full play to mirth. Let the genius have free play.

PLAY, v.i. [Sax. plegan, plegian, to play, to joke, to perform on an instrument of music, to move or vibrate, to clap or applaud, to deride or make sport of; pleggan, to ply or bend to, or to lean or lie on; geplægan, to play, and to dance or leap. The Sw. leka, Dan. leger, to play, are the same word without a prefix, and in the northern counties of England, leka is used as it is in Sweden. This word seems to be formed on the same root as lay.]

  1. To use any exercise for pleasure or recreation; to do something not as a task or for profit, but for amusement; as, to play at cricket. The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. – Exod. xxxii.
  2. To sport; to frolick; to frisk. The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to day, / Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? – Pope.
  3. To toy; to act with levity. – Milton.
  4. To trifle; to act wantonly and thoughtlessly. Men are apt to play with their healths and their lives as they do with their clothes. – Temple.
  5. To do something fanciful; to give a fanciful turn to; as to play upon words. – Shak.
  6. To make sport, or practice sarcastic merriment. I would make use of it rather to play upon those I despise, than trifle with those I love. – Pope.
  7. To mock; to practice illusion. Art thou alive, / Or is it fancy plays upon our eyesight? – Shak.
  8. To contend in a game; as, to play at cards or dice; to play for diversion; to play for money.
  9. To practice a trick or deception. His mother played false with a smith. – Shak.
  10. To perform on an instrument of music; as, to play on a flute, a violin or a harpsichord. Play, my friend, and charm the charmer. – Granville.
  11. To move, or to move with alternate dilatation and contraction. The heart beats, the blood circulates, the lungs play. – Cheyne.
  12. To operate; to act. The engines play against a fire. – Dryden.
  13. To move irregularly; to wanton. Ev'n as the waving sedges play with wind. – Shak. The setting sun / Plays on their shining arms and burnish'd helmets. – Addison. All fame is foreign, but of true desert, / Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart. – Pope.
  14. To act a part on the stage; to personate a character. A lord will hear you play to-night. – Shak.
  15. To represent a standing character. Courts are theaters where some men play. – Donne.
  16. To act in any particular character; as, to play the fool; to play the woman; to play the man. – Shak.
  17. To move in any manner; to move one way and another; as any part of a machine.

PLAY, v.t.

  1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon or a fire-engine.
  2. To use an instrument of music; as, to play the flute or the organ. [Elliptical.] – Gay.
  3. To act a sportive part or character. Nature here / Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will / Her virgin fancies. – Milton.
  4. To act or perform by representing a character; as, to play a comedy; to play the part of king Lear.
  5. To act; to perform; as, to play our parts well on the stage of life.
  6. To perform in contest for amusement or for a prize; as, to play a game at whist. To play off, to display; to show; to put in exercise; as, to play off tricks. To play on or upon, to deceive; to mock or to trifle with. #2. To give a fanciful turn to.


A printed advertisement of a play, with the parts assigned to the actors.


A book of dramatic compositions.


A day given to play or diversion; a day exempt from work. – Swift.


A debt contracted by gaming. – Arbuthnot.

PLAY'ED, pp.

Acted; performed; put in motion.


  1. One who plays in any game or sport.
  2. An idler. – Shak.
  3. An actor of dramatic scenes; one whose occupation is to imitate characters on the stage. – Bacon.
  4. A mimic. – Dryden.
  5. One who performs on an instrument of music.
  6. A gamester.
  7. One that acts a part in a certain manner. – Carew.


A companion in amusements or sports. – Sidney.


  1. Sportive, given to levity; as, a playful child. – Spectator.
  2. Indulging a sportive fancy; as, a playful genius.


In a sportive manner.




Play of children. – Locke.


One who frequents plays.


Frequenting the exhibitions of the stage.


A house appropriated to the exhibition of dramatic compositions; a theater. – Pope. Dryden.

PLAY'ING, ppr.

Acting; performing; sporting.


A playfellow; a companion in diversions. – More.


Idle amusement. [Not used.] – Bacon.