play back

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play back

1. To play something one has recorded, especially to watch or listen carefully or find out how something looks or sounds (rather than to watch or listen recreationally). A noun or pronoun can be used between "play" and "back." They played the interview back during the trial so the jury could hear the defendant's reaction to the question. He played back the video footage of the game to see why his opponent kept getting the advantage on him.
2. To think intensely of some past event. A noun or pronoun can be used between "play" and "back"; usually followed by "in one's mind/head." I kept playing our final bittersweet farewell back in my mind as my plane took off for Europe. If you lie awake at night playing back every negative interaction you had during the day, you're going to end up driving yourself crazy!
See also: back, play
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play something back (to someone)

to play a recording to someone. Can you play the speech back to me? Please play back the speech to me, so I can hear how I sound.
See also: back, play
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

play back

Replay, especially a recorded performance; also, repeat. For example, When we played back the tape of the concert we noticed a lot of missed notes, or He uses the same material again and again, playing back his old speech. [Early 1900s]
See also: back, play
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

play back

v.
1. To replay something that has been recorded: After recording the interview, the reporter played back the tape to find a quotation for the article. The instructors videotaped the performance and played it back for the class in slow motion.
2. To withdraw or lower the emphasis of something: You should play back the budget questions in your presentation and concentrate on hiring decisions. The coach played the defense back for a while and concentrated on scoring goals.
See also: back, play
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
These special playback utilities are under the constant threat of losing the client, Unlike in ambulance chasing where what matters is who can get to the client first while he's still groggy from the anesthesia, in media playback what matters is who had the last word with the browsers, i.e., who registered last for playing back a format and established an exclusive association with the file format.
Playing back the calls confirmed that the rapid vocalizations inspired extra alarm in the rest of the colony.
Rather it is a vehicle for listening, learning, and interpreting, for playing back and reporting on the dilemmas, confrontations, and generosities that make up personal and communal life.
This is an acronym for compact disc-read-only memory, a small optical disc capable of storing and playing back digital data.
Before playing back the videotape, you conclude that five of the eight camera zones have to be reviewed.
Google had earlier released a hardware decoder IP that was capable of playing back full HD VP8 content at 60fps.
30 a set of technological specifications for ultra-large-memory prerecorded ''Blu-ray Disc'' videodisks whose functions will be limited to playing back contents.
Capable of displaying PIP (Picture in Picture), so you can watch TV and work on your spreadsheet at the same time (yeah, right), the M17W1 has a built-in TV tuner and a D1 digital input on the backside of the unit (as well as one S-Video and two Composite inputs), making it perfect for playing back high resolution DVD movies of video games.