v. role-played, role-play·ing, role-plays
1. To act out (a situation), as for therapeutic , educational, or recreational purposes: "He mixed learning and playing—once he asked the children to role-play the Berlin Conference" (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).
2. To assume or act out the role of: "Every week, in front of the rest of the class, the students role-played priests hearing confession, with Father Dom as the penitent" (Erin McGraw).
To assume or act out a particular role: "When I hire people I role-play with them ... to see how they take pressure" (Peter Schrag).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.