Definition of power play in English:

power play


  • 1Tactics exhibiting or intended to increase a person's power or influence.

    ‘the sexual power play of their relationship’
    ‘the petty power plays of showbiz’
    • ‘The power play began before Christmas with the setting of the agenda for the convention when a series of 50 questions were devised by the Belgian presidency and finessed by the member countries ambassadors.’
    • ‘The 70s power play between political parties and the State institutions again defined the debate and ‘ideology’ related decisions.’
    • ‘But ordinary people rejected his power play, reclaiming their nation's path through the ballot box.’
    • ‘All through life, food and eating can become entangled and misused in all sorts of emotional problems and power play, such as bulimia, anorexia, obesity, hunger strikes, etc.’
    • ‘That power play drew a record 8,000 written responses from the public, only 10 of which supported it.’
    • ‘I had a relationship after my marriage that really explored power play, and it was the most passionate, powerful, liberating thing I have ever experienced in my life.’
    • ‘On many levels, it was a sleazy political power play.’
    • ‘I suspect political power play is involved in that decision.’
    • ‘For all the intricacies of the spat, it smacks of political one-upmanship, petty power play and a healthy dose of ego juice.’
    • ‘He is clearly interested in exploring sexual relations as an arena of power play.’
    • ‘I'd love to know what bureaucratic power play brought that about.’
    • ‘So it is that the drugs issue is secondary to the political power play.’
    • ‘But her remarkable life, carefully handled, could provide a revealing taste of 14 th-century power play, spiced with a heady dose of intrigue, romance and brutal political violence.’
    • ‘It's power play, not because he actually feels powerful, but because he wants to feel that way.’
    • ‘The anti-retrenchment strikes have more to do with political power play than anything else.’
    • ‘He points out that it's almost impossible to take clothing off without there being an aspect of power play.’
    • ‘Trapped in the middle of this power play is Bangalore.’
    • ‘Her features became blank in the aristocratic air she had perfected over the years of political power play.’
    • ‘The power play of calling or not calling just doesn't exist.’
    • ‘My feeling when it comes to any kind of sexual representation that deals with power play is that we have a tendency to cast ourselves in certain roles, for good or bad.’
  • 2Offensive tactics in a team sport involving the concentration of players at a particular point.

    1. 2.1Ice Hockey A situation in which a team has a numerical advantage over its opponents while one or more players is serving a penalty, characterized by an emphasis on offensive play.
      ‘moments later Pavelski scored on a rebound during the power play’
      Compare penalty kill
      ‘the Blackhawks were on the power play for almost four minutes in overtime but couldn't get the winning goal’
      • ‘The power play and penalty kill also must dramatically improve; leadership is another question mark.’
      • ‘The power play was terrible, but penalty killing was more than respectable (ninth overall).’
      • ‘He is playing in key situations, both on the power play and on the penalty kill.’
      • ‘He is killing penalties, working the power play, and playing against the other team's top players.’
      • ‘We burned them with our power play when they took penalties.’


power play

/ˈpou(ə)r ˌplā/