Definition of role playing in English:

role playing

Pronunciation /ˈrōl ˌplāiNG/ /ˈroʊl ˌpleɪɪŋ/


  • 1The acting out of the part of a particular person or character, for example as a technique in training or psychotherapy.

    ‘specific guidelines need to followed for role playing to be effective’
    • ‘role-playing exercises’
    • ‘Marks mentioned a tactic in this regard of role playing — she sometimes 'becomes the student' and asks the students to teach her.’
    • ‘Mock telephone calls and mock reservations were made possible via role playing and a code for a test hotel, respectively.’
    • ‘It focuses on moving away from lecture-style teaching and into more western methods such as role playing and problem solving.’
    • ‘Staff members train surgical teams using two methods: lectures on concepts and principles, and case studies that involve role-playing in simulated crisis scenarios.’
    • ‘We went through the rules of engagement and orders for lessons using role-playing scenarios.’
    1. 1.1Psychology The unconscious acting out of a particular role in accordance with the perceived expectations of society.
      ‘While such role playing may indicate a hidden identification with the role, I do not mean to read the artist psychoanalytically, but rather to explore the effect of her works.’
      • ‘Both films are based on the juxtaposition of farce and melodrama and the comedy that arises from role-playing and role-switching.’
      • ‘The performance is about role-playing in everyday life.’
      • ‘The layers of role-playing and deception add richness and interest to the characters' interactions and complicate the mystery enjoyably.’
      • ‘Henry is role-playing to regain the sense of order he has lost when he realizes the futility of the war and his lack of place in it.’
      • ‘They assumed invented personae via performances and photographs during the '70s, many of them in backlash against the role-playing conformity expected of women in daily life.’
  • 2Participation in a role-playing game.

    ‘The director is apparently a long time role-playing fan.’
    • ‘I've played fantasy role-playing games at home with old friends and online with new ones, and it's perhaps my favorite genre for games.’
    • ‘The kids in this, who take their RPG into real life, are not geeks, but intelligent kids who enjoy role-playing.’
    • ‘The game includes role-playing elements.’
    • ‘One friend of ours was complaining one day, saying, "I really like role-playing, and I want to do more of it, but I had to drop out of the game I was in because of my boyfriend."’