playa

[plahy-uh]
noun
Western U.S. the sandy, salty, or mud-caked flat floor of a desert basin having interior drainage, usually occupied by a shallow lake during or after prolonged, heavy rains.
Compare dry lake.


Origin:
1850–55, Americanism; < Spanish: shore < Late Latin plagia; see plage

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World English Dictionary
playa (ˈplɑːjə, Spanish ˈplaja)
 
n
(in the US) a temporary lake, or its dry often salty bed, in a desert basin
 
[Spanish: shore, from Late Latin plagia, from Greek plagios slanting, from plagos side; compare French plage beach]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  playa
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a colloquial spelling for player, in the sense of a person who is involved and influential in an activity
Example:  Are you a playa?
Usage:  slang
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
playa   (plī'ə)  Pronunciation Key 
A dry lake bed at the bottom of a desert basin, sometimes temporarily covered with water. Playas have no vegetation and are among the flattest geographical features in the world. Also called sink.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Then a dazzling stroke of fortune presented a chance to playa really important rôle.
And, by some people's standards, he doesn't even playa sport: he bowls.
You're not supposed to throw anything away on the playa.
Learn how wind can push rocks the size of small appliances hundreds of feet across a desert playa.
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