Meaning of role play in English:

role play

(also role-play)

Pronunciation /ˈrəʊlpleɪ/


mass noun
  • another term for role playing

    ‘Role play and costumes are used to demonstrate what the monks would have worn, what they ate, and how they could be punished.’
    • ‘Role play can be a very helpful tool in learning new ways to deal with power exchanges.’
    • ‘This activity is based around a role play exercise focusing on a car dealership.’
    • ‘She said much of the course revolved around role play to recreate a court room scene.’
    • ‘The aim is to teach patients, by role-play and rehearsal, to recognize and cope with high-risk situations for relapse.’
    • ‘Soft toys and dolls play an important part in first role-play games.’
    • ‘The laboratory is used for role-play simulations and assessments of simulated patient encounters.’
    • ‘She took part in role-play exercises with the other aspiring actors.’
    • ‘Victor spent the day participating in role-play, talking about the different animals in the storybook, and helping the children to develop their reading skills.’
    • ‘The program will focus on getting graduate students, new practitioners and seasoned practitioners to think creatively about their practice options using an interactive role-play that engages the entire audience.’


[no object]
  • 1Act out or perform the part of a person or character, for example as a technique in training or psychotherapy.

    ‘study participants role-played as applicants for community college’
    • ‘Pupils sang songs, played bingo, and role-played with puppets.’
    • ‘The children role played taking a trip.’
    • ‘Staff role played various ways to approach a co-worker, how to use language of accountability, and how to ask for help.’
    • ‘Therapists-in-training were asked to invite an individual or couple they knew to role play a therapy session with them.’
    • ‘The scholar encourages his students to role play the story of David and Goliath.’
    • ‘Allow the students to role play as the doctors, nurses and patients.’
    • ‘We were role playing there a little bit just to give you an idea of what kinds of conversations he would have with potential clients.’
    • ‘Communication problems such as this likely resulted because staff members were role-playing and were not completely aware of the importance of communicating during a drill.’
    • ‘In the room being used for training on the new touch-screen ticket machines, staff were role-playing in a mocked-up ticket office.’
    • ‘Students in one parenting class are role-playing different scenarios when kids aren't necessarily cooperative, and patience may be wearing thin.’
    1. 1.1Psychology Unconsciously act out or perform a particular role in accordance with the perceived expectations of society.
      • ‘What hope do we have when small children already role play and think it is okay to divide up based on cultural differences?’
  • 2Participate in a role-playing game.

    ‘one to six players can role-play as any of over 100 characters’
    • ‘I role played male and female characters at different times, and the guys on the game treated me totally differently when I played a female character.’
    • ‘I was a mere six years old when I role played the first Dungeons and Dragons basic setting.’
    • ‘I've role played for a long time, and one of the experiences that scared me the most was role playing this character as a games-master.’
    • ‘I try to role play my character, but I'm still alone, there's no one to share my thoughts with.’
    • ‘Because the game allows them to role play and meet others who do the same, many also get the chance to find out about different nationalities and races with which they would not normally come into contact.’
    • ‘The appeal of dressing up in costume in order to role play is less appealing today than it was when the movie was made.’
    • ‘Even the first time, players are role-playing and enjoying themselves as much as the hard core players.’
    • ‘I have relented and said that if he and I are roleplaying in a game together, he can count it as time spent with me.’
    • ‘He has been roleplaying for many years, and his first game was Dungeons and Dragons.’
    • ‘He said that he was role-playing and playing a character.’