1. A participant in a game, either real or virtual, like baseball or Half-Life.

Recent movies such as The Matrix, eXistenZ and The Thirteenth Floor hint at the possibility that we may be unwitting players in a game that we hadn't previously imagined.

2. A person with an ability to get other people to do things that they hadn't initially intended, often without any realization of their being used, as in The Player.
Also, one who is a flirt, one who has sex or intimate relations with many is defined as a player. This is an extension of adrianthomas's 2nd point, a player is someone who plays people, to make the victim think that the player is in love with them, then the player manipulates the victim to get what he/she wants (usually sex), and dumps them later.
The played are often left with a broken heart. Cruel isn't it?

Play"er (?), n.

1.

One who plays, or amuses himself; one without serious aims; an idler; a trifler.

Shak.

2.

One who plays any game.

3.

A dramatic actor.

Shak.

4.

One who plays on an instrument of music.

"A cunning player on a harp."

1 Sam. xvi. 16.

5.

A gamester; a gambler.

 

© Webster 1913.

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