Definition of wordplay in English:



  • [mass noun] The witty exploitation of the meanings and ambiguities of words, especially in puns.

    ‘so many of the jokes are based on wordplay’
    • ‘That level of weasel wordplay is for professionals only.’
    • ‘That kind of heady wordplay isn't always consistent or accessible, yet it generates excitement with every vivid line.’
    • ‘Without being particularly inventive, it is still a passable excuse for the protagonists to go places, draw swords and engage in smart wordplay.’
    • ‘Here are a few movie taglines, based on some wordplay on their name.’
    • ‘Even behind bars, Bruce instantly came to be known as the mighty king of puns and wordplay.’
    • ‘No, stop it, George - really, you're killing us with your witty wordplay.’
    • ‘Shiny, colourful, mass-produced materials and images abound, as well as irony, wordplay and visual jokes.’
    • ‘But instead of name calling and personal attacks, the weapons of choice are logic, wordplay and witty repartee.’
    • ‘The main thing I remember is how funny Jimmy was, his weakness for dumb puns and wordplay.’
    • ‘As you know, it's not unknown for me to make bad jokes, especially where wordplay is involved.’
    • ‘If you survive his maze of dense wordplay and obscure references, you will probably not find anything too terribly profound, but you'll still be smarter.’
    • ‘It's a panel show, riddled with puns, cultural references, and wordplay.’
    • ‘I'm usually pretty leery of investing a lot in over-clever wordplay.’
    • ‘There's the weary, gravelly vocal style they share, the theatrical, elegantly sleazy wordplay and, of course, the ears.’
    • ‘Women, they say, laughed more at jokes involving wordplay, while men preferred more aggressive humor.’
    • ‘But he makes up for it by deft wordplay and a sharp wit.’
    • ‘However, anyone up for catchy tunes and witty wordplay will be rewarded by this album's warm left-field charm and intelligence.’
    • ‘She always thought that I was the one using wordplay to make a joke at her expense.’
    • ‘Jackson is the poet ever alert to phonetic ambiguities and other forms of wordplay.’
    • ‘Back then, it was largely based around the interest we had in wordplay and rhyming about things that MCs don't normally rhyme about.’
    punning, puns, double entendres, play on words
    wit, witticisms, repartee
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