WordReference English Collocations © 2017


Most examples are given in US English. We have labeled exceptions as UK.
  1. play with your [friends, children]
  2. playing at [school, the park]
  3. play in the [mud, sand, snow, rain]
  4. play [house, make believe, cops and robbers]
  5. play [tag, dodgeball]
  6. play [a game, a board game, basketball, cards]
  7. play for your [school, country, friends]
  8. play [dirty, fairly, nicely, fair, nice]
  9. plays [well, beautifully]
  10. play to win
  11. play by the rules
  12. play your cards right
  13. play the [cards, hand] you're dealt
  14. play [outside, inside]
  15. play [a song, an instrument, the piano]
  16. plays [guitar, bass, the drums] (in a band)
  17. learn to play the [piano, violin]
  18. play at a [concert, recital]
  19. play [music, a record, the CD, an album]
  20. [music, song] (that) was playing on the radio
  21. played it on the radio
  22. the DJ played [good music, our favorite song]
  23. play the [role, part] of
  24. play the [markets, stock market]
  25. (referee told them to) play on
  26. [is, are] playing for time
  27. play the fool
  28. play the field
  29. play it by ear
  30. play it safe
  31. play down the [importance, significance, seriousness, severity] of
  32. are playing [it] down
  1. a [romantic, dramatic, comedy] play
  2. a [good, great, controversial, poor] play
  3. a well- [written, performed] play
  4. [direct, stage, write] a play
  5. [perform, act, star] in a play
  6. a play about [love, modern society, jealousy, solitude]
  7. the plays of [Shakespeare]
  8. the [director, writer, author] of a play
  9. [an actor, an actress, the performers] in a play
  10. sport: [high, intense, low] rhythm of play
  11. sport: [concede, score, hold out] during a power play
  12. a [good, excellent, poor] play from the [striker, quarterback, goalkeeper]
  13. [rain, bad weather, poor light] has delayed play
  14. rain stopped play
  15. all work and no play
  16. [messy, educational, structured, unstructured] play
  17. the [children, schoolchildren, brothers, sisters, friends] were at play (in the park)
  18. (is) a play on words
  19. a (quick) play [of, on] the [guitar, saxophone, piano]
  20. can I have a play (on the guitar)?
n as adj
  1. a play [family, house, kitchen, shop, fight]
  2. play money
  3. (children's) play [area, park, pool]
'play' also found in these entries:

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