Etymology
Advertisement

player (n.)

Middle English pleiere, from Old English plegere "one who takes part in pastimes or amusements," an agent noun from play (v.). The stage senses of "performer of plays, professional actor," also "one who performs on a musical instrument" are from c. 1400. The 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), it is attested from 1974 (the sexual senses of play (v.) go back to 13c.). Player-piano is attested from 1901.

Friends, who on a domestic stage allot parts to each other, and repeat a drama, are actors, but not players. Many a libertine has taken to the stage for a maintenance, and has become a player without becoming an actor. The great theatres engage those who act well ; the strolling companies those who play cheap. [William Taylor, "English Synonyms Discriminated," 1813]

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of player

player (n.)
a person who participates in or is skilled at some game;
Synonyms: participant
player (n.)
someone who plays a musical instrument (as a profession);
player (n.)
a theatrical performer;
Synonyms: actor / histrion / thespian / role player
player (n.)
a person who pursues a number of different social and sexual partners simultaneously;
player (n.)
someone who takes part in an activity;
he was a major player in setting up the corporation
Synonyms: participant
From wordnet.princeton.edu