play for

Idioms & Phrases

play for

  1. Take part for a particular reason, as in We're not playing for money, just for fun. A special usage of this idiom is play for laughs, that is, with the aim of arousing laughter.

  2. play someone for. Manage someone for one's own ends, make a fool of, dupe or cheat. For example, I resent your playing me for a fool, or He suddenly found out she'd been playing him for a sucker. This usage employs play in the sense of "exhaust a hooked fish," that is, manage it on the line so that it exhausts itself. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Previous Definition: play footsies with
Next Definition: play for keeps
Words Near: play for
More from
Synonyms and Antonyms for play for
More from
Search for articles containing play for
More from Translator Word FAQs presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature