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play pronunciación
verb (played , playing )
1 intr said especially of children: to spend time in recreation, having fun, etc.
2 intr to pretend for fun; to behave without seriousness.
3 (also play at something) to take part in (a recreative pursuit, game, sport, match, round, etc) We played rounders played at rounders .
4 (also play against someone) to compete against them in a game or sport St Johnstone played Aberdeen last week .
5 intr (usu play at something)
a to make a pretence of it, especially in play play at being cowboys ;
b to indulge in it trivially or flippantly play at politics ;
c ironic to try to achieve it What are they playing at?
6 intr (play with someone) colloq to joke with them at their expense I think you're just playing with me .
7 intr (play with something) to contemplate (an idea, plan, etc) played with the idea of becoming a writer .
8 intr (play with something) to handle it carelessly or interfere with it I don't want anyone playing with the controls .
9 intr , colloq to co-operate He refuses to play .
10 sport to include someone as a team member playing McGuire in goal .
11 sport to hit or kick (the ball), deliver (a shot), etc in a sport.
12 cards to use (a card) in the course of a game played the three of clubs .
13 to speculate or gamble on (the Stock Exchange, etc) playing the market .
14 tr & intr
a to act or behave in a certain way play it cool not playing fair ;
b to pretend to be someone or something play the dumb blonde .
15 to act (a particular role) play host to the delegates .
16 tr & intr (usu play in something) to perform a role in (a play) played Oliver in the school play .
17 tr & intr said especially of a pop group: to perform in (a particular place or venue) The band played London last year .
18 intr said of a film, play, etc: to be shown or performed publicly playing all next week .
19 music
a to perform (a specified type of music) on an instrument plays jazz on the saxophone plays the sax ;
b to perform on (an instrument).
20 to turn on (a radio, a tape-recording, etc).
21 intr
a said of recorded music, etc: to be heard from a radio, etc;
b said of a radio, etc: to produce sound.
22 intr (often play over or across something) said eg of light, facial expression, etc: to flicker over, across, etc (a surface, etc).
23 intr said of a fountain: to be in operation.
24 to direct (a hose, etc).
25 (usu play something on someone) to perpetrate (a trick or joke) against them.
26 angling to allow (a fish) to tire itself by its struggles to get away.
noun
1 recreation; playing games for fun and amusement children at play .
2 the playing of a game, performance in a sport, etc rain stopped play .
3 colloq behaviour; conduct fair play foul play .
4 (plays ) a dramatic piece for the stage or a performance of it The play is being put on at the Playhouse .
5 fun; jest said in play .
6 range; scope give full play to the imagination .
7 freedom of movement; looseness too much play in the steering .
8 action or interaction play of sunlight on water play of emotions .
9 use bring all one's cunning into play .
10 the display that animals make in courtship.
[Anglo-Saxon plegan ]
in or out of play sport said of a ball: in, or not in, a position where it may be played.
make a play for something to try to get (eg someone's attention).
make great play of something to emphasize it or stress its importance.
make play with something to make effective or over-obvious use of it.
play a part in something to be instrumental in it; to take part in it.
play ball colloq to co-operate.
play fast and loose to act in an irresponsible, inconsistent and reckless way.
play for time to delay action or decision in the hope or belief that conditions will become more favourable later.
play hard to get to make a show of unwillingness to co-operate or lack of interest, with a view to strengthening one's position.
play hell or havoc with something to damage it; to upset things.
play hookey see under hookey.
play into the hands of someone to act so as to give, usually unintentionally, an advantage to them.
play it colloq to behave in, or manage, a situation in the stated way play it cool play it slowly I'm not sure how to play it .
play it by ear to improvise a plan of action to meet the situation as it develops.
play it or one's cards close to one's chest to be secretive about one's actions or intentions in a particular matter.
play merry hell with someone or something to harm or damage.
play possum see under possum.
play safe to take no risks.
play the field see under field.
play the game see under game1.
play with fire to take foolish risks.
play with oneself colloq to masturbate.
play about or around to behave ineffectively or irresponsibly.
play about or around with someone to behave irresponsibly towards them, their affections, etc.
play about or around with something to fiddle or meddle with it.
play someone along to manipulate them, usually for one's own advantage.
play along with someone to co-operate with them for the time being; to humour them.
play something back to play (a film or sound recording) through immediately after making it. See also playback.
play something down to represent it as unimportant; to minimize, make light of or discount it.
play off
1 to replay a match, etc after a draw.
2 golf to play from the tee. See also play-off.
play one person off against another to set them in rivalry, especially for one's own advantage.
play on something
1 to exploit (someone's fears, feelings, sympathies, etc) for one's own benefit.
2 to make a pun on it played on the two meanings of -batter- .
play something out to act out in real life a part, scene, etc that is so predictable that it could have come from a play. See also played out.
play up
1 colloq to behave unco-operatively.
2 colloq to cause one pain or discomfort His stomach is playing up again .
3 colloq said of a machine, etc: to function faultily.
4 to try one's hardest in a game, match, etc.
play something up to highlight it or give prominence to it.
play up to someone to flatter them; to ingratiate oneself with them.


© Hodder Education
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