Etymology
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playmate (n.)

1640s, "companion in play or amusement, playfellow," from play (v.) + mate (n.). The sexual sense is from 1954 and the launch of "Playboy" magazine. The earlier word was Middle English playfere (also playfeer, playpheer) with obsolete fere "companion."

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cosplay (n.)

"practice or hobby of dressing as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from Japanese manga and anime," 1993, according to Merriam-Webster, from costume (n.) + play (n.), based on a Japanese word formed from the same English elements and alleged to date from 1983. Also used as a verb.

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player (n.)

Middle English pleiere, from Old English plegere "one who takes part in pastimes or amusements," agent noun from play (v.). Stage sense of "performer of plays, actor," also "one who performs on a musical instrument" are from c. 1400. Meaning "contestant in field or martial games" is from early 15c.; of table games, late 14c. As a pimp's word for himself (also playa), attested from 1974 (sexual senses of play (v.) go back to 13c.). Player-piano is attested from 1901.

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overplay (v.)

"to emphasize (something) too much," 1933, a metaphor from card games, in to overplay (one's) hand, "to spoil one's hand by bidding in excess of its value" (1926), from over- + play (v.). Earlier (from 1819) in a theatrical sense, "act (a part) with an extravagant and unnatural manner." Middle English had overpleien in the sense of "to outplay, defeat." Related: Overplayed; overplaying.

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foreplay (n.)

by 1921 in sexual sense, from fore- + play (n.); Freud's Vorlust was translated earlier as fore-pleasure (Brill, 1910). A more direct translation from the German would be thwarted by the sense drift in English lust (n.). Earlier as a theatrical term:

In fact the poem which Mr. Brooks has translated is but the "prologue to the swelling theme," the fore-play to the actual drama of Faust. [The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, Jan.-May 1857]
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lark (n.2)
"spree, frolic, merry adventure," 1811, slang, of uncertain origin. Possibly a shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang for "play rough in the rigging of a ship" (larks were proverbial for high-flying). Or perhaps it is an alteration of English dialectal or colloquial lake/laik "to play, frolic, make sport" (c. 1300, from Old Norse leika "to play," from PIE *leig- (3) "to leap") with unetymological -r- common in southern British dialect. The verb lake, considered characteristic of Northern English vocabulary, is the opposite of work but lacks the other meanings of play. As a verb, from 1813. Related: Larked; larking.
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spiel (n.)
"glib speech, pitch," 1896, probably from verb (1894) meaning "to speak in a glib manner," earlier "to play circus music" (1870, in a German-American context), from German spielen "to play," from Old High German spilon (cognate with Old English spilian "to play"). The noun also perhaps from German Spiel "play, game."
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skylark (v.)
"to frolic or play," 1809, originally nautical, in reference to "wanton play about the rigging, and tops," probably from skylark (n.), influenced by (or from) lark (n.2). Related: Skylarked; skylarking.
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elude (v.)
1530s, "delude, make a fool of," from Latin eludere "finish play, win at play; escape from or parry (a blow), make a fool of, mock, frustrate; win from at play," from assimilated form of ex "out, away" (see ex-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "evade" is first recorded 1610s in a figurative sense, 1630s in a literal one. Related: Eluded; eludes; eluding.
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singspiel (n.)
1876, from German Singspiel, literally "a singing play," from singen "to sing" (see sing (v.)) + Spiel "a play" (see spiel). Kind of performance popular in Germany late 18c.
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