play fast and loose

Slang Dictionary

play definition


  1. n.
    a strategy; a plan of action. : That was a bad play, Bill. We lost the account.
  2. n.
    an attractive investment; a way to make some money in the securities markets. : I just heard about a good play in the options market.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Slang Dictionary

play fast and loose (with (so/sth)) definition


  1. in.
    to treat someone or something carelessly or unfairly. : The broker played fast and loose with our money. Now we are nearly broke.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

play fast and loose

Be recklessly irresponsible, unreliable, or deceitful, as in This reporter is known for playing fast and loose with the facts. This term probably originated in a 16th-century game called "fast and loose," played at country fairs. A belt was doubled and held with the loop at table's edge, and the player had to catch the loop with a stick as the belt was unrolledan impossible feat. The term was already used figuratively by the late 1500s, especially for trifling with someone's affections.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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