play on words


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play on words

A creative use of words that have multiple meanings, often in a humorous way; a pun. Most people groan when they hear a pun, but a clever play on words can always make me laugh.
See also: on, play, word

play on words

A word or turn of phrase with a double meaning, a pun or other humorous use of language. For example, Shakespeare was a master at plays on words-his dramas are full of puns. [First half of 1700s]
See also: on, play, word

a play on words

COMMON A play on words is a clever or humorous use of a word, especially one that has more than one meaning. This play got most of its laughs from a play on words. Its short form, TGB, is a French play on words on the TGV, the high speed train project.
See also: on, play, word

a play on ˈwords

a clever or amusing use of a word that has more than one meaning, or of words that have different meanings but sound similar/the same; a pun: When Elvis Presley had his hair cut off in the army he said, ‘Hair today and gone tomorrow’. It was a play on words — the usual expression is ‘here today and gone tomorrow.’ ▶ ˈwordplay noun: Many of the jokes are based on puns and wordplay.
See also: on, play, word