back in play


      • re-entering a situation or becoming involved again
        When someone or something that was previously not involved in a situation becomes a factor again

      • available for use or consideration again
        When something that was previously unavailable or not considered is now an option again

    Examples of back in play

    • The quarterback's injury had taken him out of the game, but he's back in play now after a successful surgery and intense rehabilitation.

      After being temporarily unable to continue playing due to an injury, the quarterback has recovered and is now able to participate in the game again.

    • The government's proposal for reducing carbon emissions had been put on hold due to opposition from certain political factions, but it's back in play after garnering enough support to pass through parliament.

      After being delayed due to opposition, the proposal to reduce carbon emissions is once again being considered and has the necessary support to move forward.

    • The actress's career had hit a rough patch, but with her latest critically acclaimed performance in a hit movie, she's definitely back in play in the industry.

      After going through a rough period in her acting career, the actress has regained recognition and has become a sought-after talent again due to her impressive performance in a successful movie.

    • The team's struggling record had put them out of contention for the playoffs, but a string of unexpected wins has brought them back in play and given them a shot at making it to the postseason.

      After a string of losing games, the team's performance has suddenly improved, giving them a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

    • The game-changing technology that was once believed to be a flop has suddenly become back in play after new studies revealed its potential benefits.

      When something is back in play, it means that it has regained its relevance or importance, especially after a period of being neglected or ignored. In this example, the technology that was previously dismissed has been resurrected due to new evidence that highlights its value.

    • The controversy surrounding the celebrity's personal life had died down, but now it's back in play as a new scandal comes to light.

      When a topic that has been quiet or suppressed for a while suddenly resurfaces, we say that it's back in play. This could be due to fresh developments or revelations that revive interest in the matter.

    • The team's star player was injured, causing him to miss several matches. However, he's back in play now and will be available for selection in the upcoming game.

      When someone is back in play, it signifies that he or she has returned to being an active participant in a particular activity or event. In this instance, the athlete who had been sidelined due to an injury has now recovered and is eligible to resume his duties.

    • The project was shelved due to financial constraints, but it's back in play now that a new investor has come on board.

      When something is back in play, it means that it has been revived or revitalized after being held back or put on hold for some reason. In this case, the initiative was put on ice because of budgetary issues, but it has since been revitalized thanks to the influx of fresh capital.


    The idiom "back in play" is used to describe the re-entry into a situation or becoming involved again. It can also refer to something becoming available for use or consideration again. In both cases, it signifies a return to relevance or consideration after a period of absence.

    This idiom is commonly used in sports to describe a player re-entering a game after being sidelined due to injury or substitution. It can also be used in a business or social context to indicate that a previously disregarded option or factor is now being reconsidered or reintroduced.

    Overall, "back in play" is used to denote a return to involvement or relevance after a period of absence or exclusion.

    Origin of "back in play"

    The origin of the idiom "back in play" can be traced back to its literal meaning in sports, particularly in games like soccer, basketball, or tennis. When a player who was previously out of the game due to injury or substitution is allowed to re-enter, they are said to be "back in play." Over time, the expression has been adopted in a broader context to signify re-entering a situation or becoming involved again.

    In a figurative sense, the idiom may have originated from the idea of being able to play a role or participate in a situation again after being temporarily sidelined. It has since become a common phrase used in various contexts to indicate a return to relevance or availability. The idiom's origins can be connected to the universal concept of returning to action or consideration after a period of inactivity or exclusion.