If you like to play anything at all, you’re a player. If you take part in a game or sport, you're a player. If you're a big flirt, you’re a player. Like the kazoo? You’re a kazoo player. Play on!

Some players play cards or tennis, and others play roles in theater productions. You could also call a musician a player, like a piano player or a flute player. Vital or influential people (or groups) are sometimes described this way too: "The president called a meeting of all the biggest political players." And finally, there are inanimate players, like music or radio players, or an MP3 player.

Definitions of player
  1. noun
    a person who participates in or is skilled at some game
    synonyms: participant
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    ballplayer, baseball player
    an athlete who plays baseball
    billiard player
    someone who plays billiards
    a player who rolls balls down an alley at pins
    card player
    someone who plays (or knows how to play) card games
    chess player
    someone who plays the game of chess
    dart player
    someone who plays the game of darts
    football player, footballer
    an athlete who plays American football
    golf player, golfer, linksman
    someone who plays the game of golf
    a player of exceptional or world class skill in chess or bridge
    hockey player, ice-hockey player
    an athlete who plays hockey
    lacrosse player
    an athlete who plays lacrosse
    MVP, most valuable player
    the player judged to be the most important to the sport
    a player in a team sport who leads attacks or maneuvers in such a way that a teammate can score
    pool player
    someone who shoots pool
    a player who makes a score in a game or contest
    seed, seeded player
    one of the outstanding players in a tournament
    (court games) the player who serves to start a point
    (sports) a player who drives or kicks a ball at the goal (or a basketball player who shoots at the basket)
    soccer player
    an athlete who plays soccer
    a member of a squad on a team
    tennis player
    an athlete who plays tennis
    volleyball player
    someone who plays the game of volleyball
    (football) a person who plays in the backfield
    ball carrier, runner
    (football) the player who is carrying (and trying to advance) the ball on an offensive play
    base runner, runner
    a baseball player on the team at bat who is on base (or attempting to reach a base)
    batsman, batter, hitter, slugger
    (baseball) a ballplayer who is batting
    a football player whose responsibility is to block players attempting to stop an offensive play
    bridge player, hand
    a card player in a game of bridge
    a player who holds a card or cards in a card game
    card shark, card sharp, card sharper, cardsharp, cardsharper, sharper, sharpie, sharpy
    a professional card player who makes a living by cheating at card games
    (ice hockey) the person who plays center on a hockey team
    chess master
    a chess player of great skill
    a defensive football player stationed outside the linebackers
    the person who distributes the playing cards in a card game
    a golfer who hits the golf ball with a driver
    elder hand, eldest hand
    the card player on the dealer's left
    a member of the baseball team that is in the field instead of at bat
    football hero
    a football player who has achieved a reputation for success
    goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender, netkeeper, netminder
    the soccer or hockey player assigned to protect the goal
    golf pro, professional golfer
    someone who earns a living by playing or teaching golf
    someone who plays golf poorly
    a golfer whose shots typically curve left (for right-handed golfers)
    International Grandmaster
    a chess player who has been awarded the highest title by an international chess organization
    a player who kicks the football
    line backer, linebacker
    a defensive football player who takes a position close behind the linemen
    one of the players on the line of scrimmage
    little leaguer
    a player between 8 and 12 years of age who is a member of a little-league team
    big leaguer, major leaguer
    a member of a major-league baseball team
    medal winner, medalist, medallist
    (golf) the winner at medal play of a tournament
    bush leaguer, minor leaguer
    a player on a minor-league baseball team
    a poor chess player
    hurler, pitcher, twirler
    (baseball) the person who does the pitching
    a golfer who is putting
    pass catcher, pass receiver, receiver
    a football player who catches (or is supposed to catch) a forward pass
    the tennis player who receives the serve
    the card player who shuffles the cards
    a golfer whose shots typically curve right (for right-handed golfers)
    a football player who tackles the ball carrier
    professional tennis player, tennis pro
    someone who earns a living playing or teaching tennis
    utility man
    a baseball player valued for the ability to play at several positions
    a hockey player stationed in a forward position on either side
    type of:
    a person who participates in competitions
  2. noun
    a theatrical performer
    synonyms: actor, histrion, role player, thespian
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    Allen Stewart Konigsberg
    United States filmmaker and comic actor (1935-)
    Fred Astaire
    United States dancer and cinema actor noted for his original and graceful tap dancing (1899-1987)
    Maurice Barrymore
    United States actor; husband of Georgiana Emma Barrymore and father of Ethel Barrymore and John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore (1847-1905)
    Lionel Barrymore
    United States actor; son of Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Barrymore (1878-1954)
    John Barrymore
    United States actor; son of Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Barrymore (1882-1942)
    Humphrey DeForest Bogart
    United States film actor (1899-1957)
    John Wilkes Booth
    United States actor and assassin of President Lincoln (1838-1865)
    Richard Burbage
    English actor who was the first to play the leading role in several of Shakespeare's tragedies (1567-1619)
    Richard Burton
    Welsh film actor who often co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor (1925-1984)
    James Cagney
    United States film actor known for his portrayals of tough characters (1899-1986)
    Maurice Chevalier
    French actor and cabaret singer (1888-1972)
    Frank Cooper
    United States film actor noted for his portrayals of strong silent heroes (1901-1961)
    Sir Noel Pierce Coward
    English dramatist and actor and composer noted for his witty and sophisticated comedies (1899-1973)
    Hume Blake Cronyn
    Canadian actor who frequently played character parts with his wife Jessica Tandy (1911-2003)
    Harry Lillis Crosby
    United States singer and film actor (1904-1977)
    James Byron Dean
    United States film actor whose moody rebellious roles made him a cult figure (1931-1955)
    Robert De Niro
    United States film actor who frequently plays tough characters (born 1943)
    Gerard Depardieu
    French film actor (born in 1948)
    John Drew
    United States actor (born in Ireland); father of Georgiana Emma Barrymore (1827-1862)
    Douglas Elton Fairbanks
    United States film actor noted for his swashbuckling roles (1883-1939)
    Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
    United States film actor; son of Douglas Elton Fairbanks, (1909-2000)
    Henry Fonda
    United States film actor (1905-1982)
    William Clark Gable
    United States film actor (1901-1960)
    David Garrick
    English actor and theater manager who was the foremost Shakespearean actor of his day (1717-1779)
    Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson
    Australian actor (born in the United States in 1956)
    Arthur John Gielgud
    English actor of Shakespearean roles who was also noted for appearances in films (1904-2000)
    Cary Grant
    United States actor (born in England) who was the elegant leading man in many films (1904-1986)
    Harley Granville-Barker
    English actor and dramatist and critic and director noted for his productions of Shakespearean plays (1877-1946)
    Sir Alec Guinness
    English stage and screen actor noted for versatility (1914-2000)
    Thomas J. Hanks
    United States film actor (born in 1956)
    Reginald Carey Harrison
    English actor on stage and in films (1908-1990)
    John Hemminge
    English actor who edited the first folio of Shakespeare's plays (1556-1630)
    Dustin Hoffman
    versatile United States film actor (born in 1937)
    Sir Anthony Philip Hopkins
    Welsh film actor (born in 1937)
    Leslie Howard Stainer
    English actor of stage and screen (1893-1943)
    Asa Yoelson
    United States singer (born in Russia) who appeared in the first full-length talking film (1886-1950)
    William Henry Pratt
    United States film actor (born in England) noted for his performances in horror films (1887-1969)
    Edmund Kean
    English actor noted for his portrayals of Shakespeare's great tragic characters (1789-1833)
    Joseph Francis Keaton
    United States comedian and actor in silent films noted for his acrobatic skills and deadpan face (1895-1966)
    Eugene Curran Kelly
    United States dancer who performed in many musical films (1912-1996)
    Charles Laughton
    United States film actor (born in England) (1899-1962)
    Lee Yuen Kam
    United States actor who was an expert in kung fu and starred in martial arts films (1941-1973)
    Jack Lemmon
    United States film actor (1925-2001)
    Harold Clayton Lloyd
    United States comic actor in silent films; he used physical danger as a source of comedy (1893-1971)
    Laszlo Lowestein
    United States actor (born in Hungary) noted for playing sinister roles (1904-1964)
    Bela Ferenc Blasko
    United States film actor (born in Hungary) noted for portraying monsters (1884-1956)
    Alfred Lunt
    United States actor who performed with his wife Lynn Fontanne in many stage productions (1893-1977)
    E. G. Marshall
    United States actor (1914-1998)
    Steve Martin
    United States actor and comedian (born in 1945)
    James Neville Mason
    English film actor (1909-1984)
    Robert Mitchum
    United States film actor (1917-1997)
    Dudley Stuart John Moore
    English actor and comedian who appeared on television and in films (born in 1935)
    Paul Leonard Newman
    United States film actor (born in 1925)
    Baron Olivier of Birghton
    English actor best know for his Shakespearean roles (1907-1989)
    Peter Seamus O'Toole
    British actor (born in Ireland in 1932)
    Sidney Poitier
    United States film actor and director (born in 1927)
    Charles Robert Redford
    United States actor and filmmaker who starred with Paul Newman in several films (born in 1936)
    Sir Ralph David Richardson
    British stage and screen actor noted for playing classic roles (1902-1983)
    Edward Goldenberg Robinson
    United States film actor noted for playing gangster roles (1893-1973)
    George C. Scott
    award-winning United States film actor (1928-1999)
    Peter Sellers
    English comic actor (1925-1980)
    Francis Albert Sinatra
    United States singer and film actor (1915-1998)
    Otis Skinner
    United States actor (1858-1942)
    Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky
    Russian actor and theater director who trained his actors to emphasize the psychological motivation of their roles (1863-1938)
    James Maitland Stewart
    United States film actor who portrayed incorruptible but modest heros (1908-1997)
    Israel Strassberg
    United States actor and film director (born in Austria) who was a leader in developing method acting in the United States (1901-1982)
    Erich von Stroheim
    United States film actor (born in Austria) (1885-1957)
    Spencer Tracy
    United States film actor who appeared in many films with Katharine Hepburn (1900-1967)
    Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
    English actor and theatrical producer noted for his lavish productions of Shakespeare (1853-1917)
    Peter Alexander Ustinov
    British actor and playwright (1921-2004)
    Duke Wayne
    United States film actor who played tough heroes (1907-1979)
    George Orson Welles
    United States actor and filmmaker (1915-1985)
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    a female actor
    barnstormer, play-actor, playactor, trouper
    an actor who travels around the country presenting plays
    character actor
    an actor who specializes in playing supporting roles
    an actor in a comedy
    ham, ham actor
    an unskilled actor who overacts
    an actor who plays villainous roles
    an actress who specializes in playing the role of an artless innocent young girl
    leading man
    actor who plays the leading male role
    mime, mimer, mummer, pantomimer, pantomimist
    an actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression
    an actor situated in the audience whose acting is rehearsed but seems spontaneous to the audience
    a person who enacts a role in an event that occurred earlier
    an actor who draws more attention than other actors in the same scene
    movie actor, screen actor
    an actor who plays a role in a film
    lead, principal, star
    an actor who plays a principal role
    extra, spear carrier, supernumerary
    a minor actor in crowd scenes
    an actor who specializes in tragic roles
    standby, understudy
    an actor able to replace a regular performer when required
    a selfish actor who upstages the other actors
    plays a small part in a dramatic production
    a female actor in a comedy
    one of two actors who are given equal status as stars in a play or film
    film star, movie star
    a star who plays leading roles in the cinema
    icon, idol, matinee idol
    someone who is adored blindly and excessively
    leading lady
    actress who plays the leading female role
    a young (film) actress who is publicized as a future star
    TV star, television star
    a star in a television show
    an actress who specializes in tragic roles
    type of:
    performer, performing artist
    an entertainer who performs a dramatic or musical work for an audience
  3. noun
    someone who plays a musical instrument (as a profession)
    synonyms: instrumentalist, musician
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    accompanist, accompanyist
    a person who provides musical accompaniment (usually on a piano)
    a musician who plays the accordion
    a player in a band (especially a military band)
    a musician who play the bass viol
    a musician who plays the bassoon
    bell ringer
    someone who plays musical handbells
    a musician who plays a carillon
    cellist, violoncellist
    someone who plays a violoncello
    clarinetist, clarinettist
    a musician who plays the clarinet
    flautist, flute player, flutist
    someone who plays the flute
    a musician who performs upon the viola da gamba
    guitar player, guitarist
    a musician who plays the guitar
    harmoniser, harmonizer
    a musician who sings or plays in harmony
    harper, harpist
    someone who plays the harp
    someone who plays the harpsichord
    a musician who plays a horn (especially a French horn)
    jazz musician, jazzman
    a musician who plays or composes jazz music
    a musician who plays a keyboard instrument
    koto player
    a musician who plays the koto
    lutanist, lutenist, lutist
    a musician who plays the lute
    a musician who plays the oboe
    a person who plays an organ
    a musician who plays percussion instruments
    pianist, piano player
    a person who plays the piano
    bagpiper, piper
    someone who plays the bagpipe
    recorder player
    someone who plays the recorder
    rhythm and blues musician
    a performer (and sometimes composer) of rhythm and blues music
    rock 'n' roll musician, rocker
    a performer or composer or fan of rock music
    saxist, saxophonist
    a musician who plays the saxophone
    singer, vocaliser, vocalist, vocalizer
    a person who sings
    sitar player
    a musician who plays the sitar
    a musician who performs a solo
    trombone player, trombonist
    a musician who plays the trombone
    cornetist, trumpeter
    a musician who plays the trumpet or cornet
    vibist, vibraphonist
    a musician who plays the vibraphone
    fiddler, violinist
    a musician who plays the violin
    a musician who plays the viola
    a singer whose voice lies in the alto clef
    alto saxophonist, altoist
    a musician who plays the alto saxophone
    baritone, barytone
    a male singer
    bass, basso
    an adult male singer with the lowest voice
    someone who plays a bugle
    a female singer
    caroler, caroller
    a singer of carols
    a male singer who was castrated before puberty and retains a soprano or alto voice
    a singer in a choir
    a woman singer having a contralto voice
    balladeer, crooner
    a singer of popular ballads
    a performer on the cymbals
    someone who plays a drum
    folk singer, jongleur, minstrel, poet-singer, troubadour
    a singer of folk songs
    a singer who produces a tune without opening the lips or forming words
    lieder singer
    a singer of lieder
    a singer of madrigals
    opera star, operatic star
    singer of lead role in an opera
    pipe major
    the chief piper in a band of bagpipes
    someone who performs rap music
    a musician who gives recitals
    rock star
    a famous singer of rock music
    a person who sings
    a female singer
    a musician who plays syncopated jazz music (usually in a dance band)
    an adult male with a tenor voice
    tenor saxophonist, tenorist
    a musician who plays the tenor saxophone
    a woman who sings popular songs
    torch singer
    a singer (usually a woman) who specializes in singing torch songs
    (metonymy) a singer
    a singer; usually a singer who adds embellishments to the song
    someone who plays a xylophone
    a singer who changes register rapidly (popular is Swiss folk songs)
    type of:
    performer, performing artist
    an entertainer who performs a dramatic or musical work for an audience
  4. noun
    an important participant (as in a business deal)
    “he was a major player in setting up the corporation”
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    type of:
    someone who takes part in an activity
  5. noun
    a person who pursues a number of different social and sexual partners simultaneously
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