9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pley-fuh l] /ˈpleɪ fəl/
full of play or fun; sportive; frolicsome.
pleasantly humorous or jesting:
a playful remark.
Origin of playful
1200-50; Middle English pleiful. See play, -ful
Related forms
playfully, adverb
playfulness, noun
half-playful, adjective
half-playfully, adverb
half-playfulness, noun
unplayful, adjective
unplayfully, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for playful
  • It would have been playful and funny and known its history.
  • Solidity emerges as being intricate, giddy, playful.
  • Their playful nature and high intelligence have endeared them to people for eons.
  • Notoriously playful, dolphins have also caught scientists' attention by creating play objects from their own bodies.
  • Being a marine biologist isn't all playful dolphins and spectacular diving.
  • Among them were several playful or serious personal addresses, much in the tone of the letters.
  • Her cats are more often thoughtful and dignified than playful.
  • These playful occupations during psychic treatment regularly conceal sense and meaning to which other expression is denied.
  • It is tolerable, if anywhere, only in light playful verse.
  • At times in this playful book the author has such fun with her theme that she risks overstretching the point.
British Dictionary definitions for playful


full of high spirits and fun: a playful kitten
good-natured and humorous: a playful remark
Derived Forms
playfully, adverb
playfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for playful

mid-13c., from play (v.) + -ful. Related: Playfully; playfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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