A playmate is a child's pal or buddy. If you grew up in a rural area, far from your closest neighbors, your main playmates may have been your own brothers and sisters.
Parents worry when their kids don't have many playmates — although some children simply prefer solitary activities to group games with friends. Babysitting one little girl might seem like an easy job, until six of her favorite playmates come over to play hide-and-seek indoors. Playmate was coined in the 1600s, from play and mate, "comrade or companion."