playwright

A playwright is someone who writes plays. Playwrights are also known as dramatists.

Just as a poet writes poems, a playwright writes plays. If the spelling of playwright looks odd, that's because wright is a word for a craftsperson or someone who builds things (like a shipwright builds ships). Given the juggling of characters, scenes, and plots in a play, you can see how writing a play is like building something. The most famous playwright ever in English is William Shakespeare.

Definitions of playwright
  1. noun
    someone who writes plays
    synonyms: dramatist
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    examples:
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    Aeschylus
    Greek tragedian; the father of Greek tragic drama (525-456 BC)
    Edward Franklin Albeen
    United States dramatist (1928-)
    Maxwell Anderson
    United States dramatist (1888-1959)
    Jean Anouilh
    French dramatist noted for his reinterpretations of Greek myths (1910-1987)
    Aristophanes
    an ancient Greek dramatist remembered for his comedies (448-380 BC)
    Sir James Matthew Barrie
    Scottish dramatist and novelist; created Peter Pan (1860-1937)
    Francis Beaumont
    English dramatist who collaborated with John Fletcher (1584-1616)
    Samuel Beckett
    a playwright and novelist (born in Ireland) who lived in France; wrote plays for the theater of the absurd (1906-1989)
    Bertolt Brecht
    German dramatist and poet who developed a style of epic theater (1898-1956)
    Pedro Calderon de la Barca
    Spanish poet and dramatist considered one of the great Spanish writers (1600-1681)
    Karel Capek
    Czech writer who introduced the word `robot' into the English language (1890-1938)
    Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
    Spanish writer best remembered for `Don Quixote' which satirizes chivalry and influenced the development of the novel form (1547-1616)
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
    Russian dramatist whose plays are concerned with the difficulty of communication between people (1860-1904)
    William Congreve
    English playwright remembered for his comedies (1670-1729)
    Pierre Corneille
    French tragic dramatist whose plays treat grand moral themes in elegant verse (1606-1684)
    Sir Noel Pierce Coward
    English dramatist and actor and composer noted for his witty and sophisticated comedies (1899-1973)
    Russel Crouse
    United States playwright (1893-1966)
    Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac
    a French soldier and dramatist remembered chiefly for fighting many duels (often over the size of his nose); was immortalized in 1897 in a play by Edmond Rostand (1619-1655)
    Thomas Decker
    English dramatist and pamphleteer (1572-1632)
    John Dryden
    the outstanding poet and dramatist of the Restoration (1631-1700)
    Thomas Stearns Eliot
    British poet (born in the United States) who won the Nobel prize for literature; his plays are outstanding examples of modern verse drama (1888-1965)
    Euripides
    one of the greatest tragic dramatists of ancient Greece (480-406 BC)
    John Fletcher
    prolific English dramatist who collaborated with Francis Beaumont and many other dramatists (1579-1625)
    Christopher Fry
    English dramatist noted for his comic verse dramas (born 1907)
    Athol Fugard
    South African playwright whose plays feature the racial tensions in South Africa during apartheid (born in 1932)
    Frederico Garcia Lorca
    Spanish poet and dramatist who was shot dead by Franco's soldiers soon after the start of the Spanish Civil War (1898-1936)
    Jean Genet
    French writer of novels and dramas for the theater of the absurd (1910-1986)
    Andre Paul Guillaume Gide
    French author and dramatist who is regarded as the father of modern French literature (1869-1951)
    Hippolyte Jean Giraudoux
    French novelist and dramatist whose plays were reinterpretations of Greek myths (1882-1944)
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    German poet and novelist and dramatist who lived in Weimar (1749-1832)
    Carlo Goldoni
    prolific Italian dramatist (1707-1793)
    Harley Granville-Barker
    English actor and dramatist and critic and director noted for his productions of Shakespearean plays (1877-1946)
    Moss Hart
    United States playwright who collaborated with George S. Kaufman (1904-1961)
    Vaclav Havel
    Czech dramatist and statesman whose plays opposed totalitarianism and who served as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992 and president of the Czech Republic since 1993 (born in 1936)
    Christian Friedrich Hebbel
    German dramatist (1813-1863)
    Lillian Hellman
    United States playwright; her plays were often indictments of injustice (1905-1984)
    Victor-Marie Hugo
    French poet and novelist and dramatist; leader of the romantic movement in France (1802-1885)
    Henrik Johan Ibsen
    realistic Norwegian author who wrote plays on social and political themes (1828-1906)
    William Inge
    United States playwright (1913-1973)
    Eugene Ionesco
    French dramatist (born in Romania) who was a leading exponent of the theater of the absurd (1912-1994)
    Benjamin Jonson
    English dramatist and poet who was the first real poet laureate of England (1572-1637)
    George Simon Kaufman
    United States playwright who collaborated with many other writers including Moss Hart (1889-1961)
    Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist
    German dramatist whose works concern people torn between reason and emotion (1777-1811)
    Thomas Kid
    English dramatist (1558-1594)
    Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
    German playwright and leader of the Enlightenment (1729-1781)
    Howard Lindsay
    United States playwright who collaborated with Russel Crouse on several musicals (1889-1931)
    Clare Booth Luce
    United States playwright and public official (1902-1987)
    Count Maurice Maeterlinck
    Belgian playwright (1862-1949)
    David Mamet
    United States playwright (born in 1947)
    Christopher Marlowe
    English poet and playwright who introduced blank verse as a form of dramatic expression; was stabbed to death in a tavern brawl (1564-1593)
    John Marstan
    English playwright (1575-1634)
    Menander
    comic dramatist of ancient Greece (342-292 BC)
    Thomas Middleton
    English playwright and pamphleteer (1570-1627)
    Arthur Miller
    United States playwright (1915-2005)
    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
    French author of sophisticated comedies (1622-1673)
    Ferenc Molnar
    Hungarian playwright (1878-1952)
    Sean O'Casey
    Irish playwright (1880-1964)
    Clifford Odets
    United States playwright (1906-1963)
    Eugene Gladstone O'Neill
    United States playwright (1888-1953)
    John James Osborne
    English playwright (1929-1994)
    Harold Pinter
    English dramatist whose plays are characterized by silences and the use of inaction (born in 1930)
    Luigi Pirandello
    Italian novelist and playwright (1867-1936)
    George Dibdin Pitt
    a British playwright who created the fictional character Sweeney Todd (1799-1855)
    Titus Maccius Plautus
    comic dramatist of ancient Rome (253?-184 BC)
    Jean Baptiste Racine
    French advocate of Jansenism; tragedian who based his works on Greek and Roman themes (1639-1699)
    Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan
    British playwright (1911-1977)
    Elmer Leopold Rice
    United States playwright (1892-1967)
    Esme Stuart Lennox Robinson
    Irish playwright and theater manager in Dublin (1886-1958)
    Edmond Rostand
    French dramatist and poet whose play immortalized Cyrano de Bergerac (1868-1918)
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    French writer and existentialist philosopher (1905-1980)
    Augustin Eugene Scribe
    French playwright (1791-1861)
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca
    Roman statesman and philosopher who was an advisor to Nero; his nine extant tragedies are modeled on Greek tragedies (circa 4 BC - 65 AD)
    William Shakespeare
    English poet and dramatist considered one of the greatest English writers (1564-1616)
    George Bernard Shaw
    British playwright (born in Ireland); founder of the Fabian Society (1856-1950)
    Sam Shepard
    United States author of surrealistic allegorical plays (born in 1943)
    Richard Brinsley Sheridan
    Irish playwright remembered for his satirical comedies of manners (1751-1816)
    Robert Emmet Sherwood
    United States playwright (1896-1955)
    Marvin Neil Simon
    United States playwright noted for light comedies (born in 1927)
    Sophocles
    one of the great tragedians of ancient Greece (496-406 BC)
    Thomas Straussler
    British dramatist (born in Czechoslovakia in 1937)
    Johan August Strindberg
    Swedish dramatist and novelist (1849-1912)
    Edmund John Millington Synge
    Irish poet and playwright whose plays are based on rural Irish life (1871-1909)
    Publius Terentius Afer
    dramatist of ancient Rome (born in Greece) whose comedies were based on works by Menander (190?-159 BC)
    Tirso de Molina
    Spanish dramatist who wrote the first dramatic treatment of the legend of Don Juan (1571-1648)
    Peter Alexander Ustinov
    British actor and playwright (1921-2004)
    Lope Felix de Vega Carpio
    prolific Spanish playwright (1562-1635)
    John Webster
    English playwright (1580-1625)
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde
    Irish writer and wit (1854-1900)
    Thornton Niven Wilder
    United States writer and dramatist (1897-1975)
    Thomas Lanier Williams
    United States playwright (1911-1983)
    William Wycherley
    English playwright noted for his humorous and satirical plays (1640-1716)
    William Butler Yeats
    Irish poet and dramatist (1865-1939)
    type of:
    author, writer
    writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)
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