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roughhousing, seriousness, solemnity, calmness


Enjoyment and Indulgence, Social Hierarchy and Relationships, Middle School 3, Joy and Playfulness



How to pronounce horseplay (audio)


Dictionary definition of horseplay

Rough or rowdy play, often characterized by physical antics and boisterous behavior.
"The siblings often got into good-natured horseplay in the backyard."

Detailed meaning of horseplay

It typically involves playful and sometimes physically demanding activities that may include pushing, shoving, wrestling, or engaging in other energetic and often noisy interactions. Horseplay is often associated with children, adolescents, or even adults who are in a jovial and playful mood. While it is generally intended for amusement and fun, it can sometimes lead to accidents or injuries if not conducted with care and consideration. The term "horseplay" underscores the spirited and lively nature of such play, which, when done responsibly, can be an enjoyable and entertaining way to socialize and bond with others.

Example sentences containing horseplay

1. The teacher warned the students against engaging in horseplay in the classroom.
2. Horseplay in the swimming pool can be dangerous and lead to accidents.
3. Workplace horseplay can result in injuries and disciplinary action.
4. The parents had to put a stop to the horseplay before someone got hurt.
5. The principal took a strong stance against any form of horseplay on school grounds.
6. The coach reminded the players that horseplay on the field was unacceptable.

History and etymology of horseplay

The noun 'horseplay' has its etymological roots in the association of rowdy and rough behavior with the strength and exuberance of horses. The term combines 'horse' and 'play,' and it likely emerged in the English language as a way to describe play or activity that resembled the spirited and sometimes unruly nature of horses. Horses are known for their energetic and boisterous movements, and this connection with lively and physical antics led to the development of the word 'horseplay' to denote rough or rowdy play often characterized by physical roughhousing and boisterous behavior. Therefore, the etymology of 'horseplay' reflects its origin in the likeness of human behavior to the spirited actions of horses.

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Further usage examples of horseplay

1. The office policy strictly prohibits horseplay during work hours.
2. The lifeguard blew the whistle to stop the horseplay in the water.
3. Their rough horseplay at the family reunion was all in good fun.
4. The supervisor reprimanded the employees involved in the horseplay.
5. The sign at the pool clearly stated that horseplay was not allowed.
6. The friends engaged in horseplay during their camping trip.
7. Parents should supervise children to prevent horseplay near dangerous areas.
8. The park ranger warned visitors about the dangers of horseplay near the cliffs.
9. The school implemented a zero-tolerance policy for horseplay in the hallways.
10. The lifeguard kept a watchful eye to prevent horseplay in the shallow end.
11. The coach emphasized the importance of teamwork over horseplay.
12. The teacher had to intervene to stop the horseplay in the classroom.
13. The lifeguard's quick response prevented an accident during the horseplay.
14. The children were reprimanded by their parents for engaging in dangerous horseplay.

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