Definition of playful in English:



  • 1Fond of games and amusement; lighthearted.

    ‘a playful tomboy who loves to dress up’
    • ‘His playful frolics with foxes and bears show his lack of fear of the wild and disregard for his own safety.’
    • ‘We continued talking and they continued their playful games both under his feet and in and around the room.’
    • ‘They were, however, playful; their main game was to run beak to tail round a tree in a circle.’
    • ‘His eyes were twinkling with mischief and a playful smile hovered on his lips.’
    • ‘Of course, these youngsters are also playful, naughty and mischievous as well.’
    • ‘She was in one of her playful, mischievous moods, and that didn't bear well for him.’
    • ‘He's still as nutty and as playful as a kitten at times.’
    • ‘Mewme was an old cat not like the playful little kitten that Alison had first encountered after her mother entered her life.’
    • ‘The biggest problem was that the little one was a playful little kitten, and the older one just wanted to be left alone.’
    • ‘I pulled away and jabbed him in his ribs for being so mischievous and playful. He loved fooling around with me.’
    • ‘The devilish playful look in his eye was replaced with a look of anger and rage.’
    • ‘She smiled up at him, loving how playful he was and thinking about how lucky she was to have him.’
    • ‘Hungry cats will raid trash cans, and playful kittens will destroy shrubbery and soil lawn furniture.’
    • ‘The conversation with your spouse turns very lighthearted and playful as you discuss the events of the day.’
    • ‘A little girl giggles as she runs through the thick forest being chased by a playful kitten.’
    • ‘I can be playful, mischievous, or silly depending on how you look at things.’
    • ‘Again, her eyes held a playful, puckish gleam that I couldn't help but not ignore.’
    • ‘The playful yet mischievous puppies are now six weeks old and each has started developing a unique personality.’
    • ‘As an interlocutor she can be mischievous, playful and wildly funny.’
    • ‘The two began rolling around the on the floor, giggles and laughter escaping their lips as the playful game continued.’
    light-hearted, in fun, in jest, joking, jokey, teasing, humorous, jocular, jesting, good-natured, tongue-in-cheek, facetious, frivolous, flippant, arch, waggish, flirtatious, whimsical
    frisky, jolly, fun-loving, lively, full of fun, high-spirited, spirited, in high spirits, exuberant, perky, skittish, coltish, kittenish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Intended for one's own or others' amusement rather than seriously.
      ‘he gave me a playful punch on the arm’
      • ‘After a bout of rather more playful arguing, each paid half and they were ready to go.’
      • ‘However, introduction of songs which are rather playful in nature is quite new to the Gondi culture.’
      • ‘They still held mirth and amusement, as if this was about to be a playful exhibition rather than a fight to the death.’
      • ‘I try to reassure him with a playful punch into his right shoulder.’
      • ‘She gave him a playful punch in the arm and he gave one back.’
      • ‘Witness the playful word games indulged in by all members of the family, even in the midst of terrible rage and the destruction of their lives.’
      • ‘He hissed a playful hiss, the guard on the left staring with pleasure.’
      • ‘An undeniably good stand-up Burke has an instinct for playful mischief that influences much of his set.’
      • ‘It is best to be light and playful rather than heavy and serious in order to achieve your goals.’
      • ‘Remain light and playful rather than heavy and serious in personal or professional situations.’
      • ‘A light and playful rather than heavy and serious attitude brings success and goodwill.’
      • ‘It might stem from living life in a playful manner, rather than taking it all too seriously (but that is only a guess).’
      • ‘Maddi gave him a playful punch and got up to go find some food.’
      • ‘Love for others through playful conflict is the very basis of what I have been trying to achieve over the past 30 years.’
      • ‘However the whole album is rather playful and inoffensive.’
      • ‘You can climb the highest peak with a light and playful approach rather than a heavy and serious one.’
      • ‘She gave him a playful punch on the arm, while smiling.’
      • ‘The ending peters out inconclusively in a welter of playful / sloppy metafictional games.’
      • ‘We were deep in conversation when I felt a playful punch on my shoulder.’
      • ‘She gave him a playful punch to the shoulder and ran into her tent.’
      harmless, innocuous, safe, non-injurious, unobjectionable, inoffensive
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Giving or expressing pleasure and amusement.
      ‘the ballet accents the playful use of movement’
      • ‘One was calm, one vivacious, the other playful and sprightly - all lost in their own world of innocence.’
      • ‘Her sense of detail, love of story and playful use of language create an unstoppable collision of characters and ideas.’
      • ‘Marked allegretto scherzando, in the key of A minor, this piece has a lively, playful spirit.’
      • ‘On the other hand, Jaki is clearly present in the rhythms which are straightforward but tricksy, deliberate but playful.’
      • ‘That said, it's a great show, mimicking its subject: vibrant, playful, yet betraying a frisson of menace.’
      • ‘It's a dance piece undertaking a playful examination of interpersonal dynamics.’
      • ‘As we sit on our grandmother's knee we are presented with a range of playful and deceptive games.’
      • ‘Witty, thoughtful, playful and soundful, these poems are a pleasure to read.’
      • ‘His style is a playful exploitation of the human body and human movement inextricably linked to music.’
      • ‘Not only do we like what beaches do for us as individuals, we like the kind of society we keep on beaches: civil, playful, active, open.’
      • ‘Each breathes life into the poems with playful and vibrant paintings that capture the mood and lyricism of the poetry.’
      • ‘The logo has a light titanium outside and a dynamic, playful, vibrant inside, animating through the whole spectrum of colour.’
      • ‘The playful Scherzo, the third movement, is like a rhythmic game of tag dancing between piano and flute.’
      • ‘Keyes' latest masterpiece dwells on all of these, depicting voyeurism at its playful, charming finest.’
      • ‘It is a vivacious, playful blend of salsa and canzonetta.’
      • ‘The spirit the moment captured is lighthearted and playful, and I'm smiling.’
      • ‘In fact, I see them as cartoons: playful and animated spirits that disrupt and enliven the dead.’
      • ‘In the past fifteen years, her work has taken a distinct turn towards playful irony and exuberant narration.’
      • ‘In a playful game of 20 Questions, Mary Ellen MacLean leaves little up to the imagination.’
      • ‘Completely useless, then, these objects are meant to be playful and to generate pleasure.’