PLAY in sign language

Printable ASL sign for PLAY
Printable

How do you say 'play' in ASL for one common definition and for other meanings?

ASL signs for "play"

Definition: Engage in fun activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; take part in (a sport).

Pronunciation (production): Two-handed "Y" (handshape), palms in (orientation), apart in space (location), rotate downward twice at the wrists (movement).

Related signs: RELAX, FUN.

Opposite: WORK.


If you talk about a dramatic work to be acted on stage, use the sign: two-handed "10" hands with the palms facing each other in contact with the sides of the chest alternatly moves downward twice in a circular motion. The sign looks similar as DRAMA

Or, if one "represent a character in a theatrical performance or a film", see ACT. E.g. "she played Sophia"


Another meaning is to play music (or any musical instrument) or to make music, you don't use the sign "play" as shown above. Instead, you use different expressions, usually with the classifier phrases.

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. because
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. condone
  10. deaf
  11. different
  12. drink
  13. drive
  14. eat
  15. email
  16. family
  17. feel
  18. few
  19. find
  20. fine
  21. fingerspell
  22. finish
  23. food
  24. for
  25. forget
  26. friend
  27. get
  28. girl
  29. give
  30. go
  31. good
  32. have
  33. he
  34. hearing
  35. hello
  36. help
  37. home
  38. how
  39. Internet
  40. know
  41. later
  42. like (feeling)
  43. little
  44. live
  45. man
  46. many
  47. me
  48. meet
  49. more
  50. my
  51. name
  52. need
  53. new
  54. no
  55. not
  56. now
  57. ok, okay
  58. old
  59. other
  60. please
  61. remember
  62. same
  63. say
  64. school
  65. see
  66. she
  67. should
  68. sign, signed word
  69. slow
  70. some
  71. sorry
  72. store
  73. take
  74. tell
  75. text, sms
  76. thank, thank you
  77. their
  78. they
  79. think
  80. time
  81. tired
  82. try
  83. understand
  84. use
  85. wait
  86. want
  87. what
  88. when
  89. where
  90. which
  91. who
  92. why
  93. will
  94. with
  95. woman
  96. work
  97. write
  98. yes
  99. you
  100. your

As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.