Definition of byplay in US English:


(also by-play)


  • Secondary or subsidiary action or involvement in a play or movie.

    • ‘Their byplay alone is enough to hold our interest.’
    • ‘Their byplay leaves little to the viewer's imagination.’
    • ‘Most of the audience is engaged in byplay around this central scene.’
    • ‘The mechanicals in the production were slow and dull, indulging in endless, random byplay rather than the specific actions called for in the text.’
    • ‘Such byplay is engaging for the way it goes against the grain of expectation - our assumptions of what a porn film is supposed to be like and how its one-track-minded characters are meant to behave.’
    • ‘After some byplay conclude by saying, ‘What do we do when we like the magic?’’
    • ‘The often hilarious byplay between the character and his hard-core fan base is at the core of his appeal, and it was nice to see a little of that, no matter how forced, make it to television.’
    • ‘Honestly, she is so oblivious to subtle byplay.’
    • ‘The byplay during and after the courtroom scene shows that she acts and speaks with half an eye toward sussing out the danger he poses to her marriage, and likewise the taunting ‘ring’ scenes have more purpose as well.’
    • ‘One can only imagine what the common folk thought of this byplay.’
    • ‘It matters little whether a genre's high or low: The horseplay, the byplay, the wordplay's the thing - the ready wit is all.’
    • ‘It adds extra layers to the playful byplay between the characters we see before.’
    • ‘As with the movie itself, the commentaries and extra features focus on a central point: that the movie works because the people involved took out action scenes to focus on the comic byplay between he characters.’
    • ‘Our lives happen in voices: in inner monologue and outer dialogue, in scenes of interwoven tension and resolution with comic byplay.’
    • ‘The byplay created by the argument over whether a comedy or a tragedy should be played fits the secrecy/revelation pattern.’
    • ‘The tonal similarities of the two actors lead to some fascinating byplay, and he structures the piece as a series of surprises and sharp contrasts: a languorous song suddenly gives way to ecstatic dancing or bright chatter.’
    • ‘Firstly, there is an interesting byplay in the film between sexual and existential desire.’
    • ‘Now, again, there is a byplay there between the suggestion that the Crown is involved in some sort of subterfuge in this case.’
    • ‘Such byplay makes this baldly feminist agenda palatable.’
    • ‘Hip culture has embraced this linguistic byplay wholeheartedly, often to the dismay of those who can't quite figure it out.’