Definition of playboy in English:



  • A wealthy man who spends his time enjoying himself, especially one who behaves irresponsibly or is sexually promiscuous.

    ‘he isn't the marrying type, he's just a playboy’
    [as modifier] ‘a playboy lifestyle’
    • ‘For these playboys, Monaco, home of the most thrilling circuit in the Grand Prix, is undoubtedly their playground, the place where they kick back, soak up the rays on their yachts and party big time.’
    • ‘He adopts the lifestyle of a dissolute playboy to camouflage his crime-fighting efforts.’
    • ‘While you probably imagined that my family tree was chock-a-block with international playboys and glamorous socialites, I actually come from a long line of caravanners.’
    • ‘The heroines could be divorcees with even a child or two, and the men they admire and seek to be with need not always be playboys on the prowl.’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief, most girls aren't into macho playboys.’
    • ‘These are not wealthy playboys indulging a passion for sport; they are hard-headed businessmen who have made their fortunes by turning one sport from hobby to cash machine.’
    • ‘Towards the end of his time in racing Stewart also saw the first stirrings of one of the great playboys, James Hunt, who made Button look like a hermit.’
    • ‘If he is to reach his goals, he can't risk burning himself out, so a playboy lifestyle is out.’
    • ‘They could have been written off as rich liberal Catholic playboys from Boston with no understanding of any issue which matters because they hadn't lived through it themselves.’
    • ‘He also offered extremely well-paid jobs to Monaco's best-connected playboys.’
    • ‘The playboy lifestyle is not his only weakness according to those who have worked with him.’
    • ‘But don't be misled: the expensive hotels that lurk behind veils of trees and the occasional flashy yacht are known to spill out tubby bronzed playboys with their trophy girlfriends in mink shawls.’
    • ‘Men who want to avoid paying child support are seen as irresponsible playboys.’
    • ‘We have had no major philanderers, dirty financial dealers, international playboys and worst of all, no celebrity candidates!’
    • ‘He adopted a playboy lifestyle which must have been beyond his wildest dreams when he was growing up.’
    • ‘So, it is a very good combination of strength, and these are not playboys.’
    • ‘The celebrated playboys had talked each other into believing the match was off, so they were in for a nasty surprise when a thaw set in and they had to go to work against the Belgians.’
    • ‘I remember when I was in high school, my classmates and I had an impression that only prostitutes and playboys would get the disease.’
    • ‘She would be spotted, escorted by a string of rich playboys, in nightclubs and restaurants, at the theatre and at private parties.’
    • ‘I used to be a womanizing playboy, as you put it, but I've settled down in recent years.’
    socialite, pleasure seeker, sybarite
    ladies' man, womanizer, philanderer, rake, roué
    rich man about town
    ladykiller, gay dog
    saga boy
    View synonyms


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘boy actor’): from play + boy. The current sense originated in the early 19th century in Irish English.